You can make the Super Nintendo SuperScope work with modern TVs

Of course you'll need a lot of specific equipment, a hefty time investment and some money

Tech DIY Youtube channel Element 14 Presents recently did a teardown and rebuild of popular Super Nintendo light gun, the Super Scope.

If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, a Super Scope and you want to use it with modern TVs, this guide should help. However, the process isn’t easy.

If you’re like me and weren’t very old in the 1990s, you’re probably unfamiliar with how light gun tech works. The key to the technology involves retro CRT TVs since the screen refreshes one pixel at a time from the top left to the bottom right of the display. This happens fast enough that most people don’t notice it, but a light gun can pinpoint each pixel as it refreshes.

This means when you pull the trigger on the light gun, whatever pixel it’s pointing at, it can see it refresh and then relay that information back to the console, registering your shot.

Since OLED and LCD TVs refresh the whole display simultaneously and feature smaller pixels, there is no way for a light gun to register shots on them.

Therefore, to make it work, you need to create a custom chip for the gun and a new way to register those shots on screen. Element 14 mentions that people could make an easier workaround using the Wii’s sensor bar to create an experience similar to Link’s Crossbow Training, but that this method isn’t technically authentic.

Going the traditional route means people need to buy a Raspberry Pie, an easy to shape development computer board, an IR camera and an IR emitter. You can find a full list of what you’ll need over on the website’s project page. The page is also a good resource to read other builders’ experiences and to ask questions.

Source: Element 14