I'm not really a fan of pranking on April Fools Day. There have been plenty of attempts in the gaming industry to pull off believability over the years, some amusing and some that just fell flat. This year, it is still a bit early, but I think we already have a winner.
Google has modified its Google Maps page with a quest link at the top right. The Google team also created a video showing off their new Google Maps cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with dial-up internet access and 8-bit functionality. In the Lat Long blog, the Google Maps team explains:
"In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn't access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide. Our engineering team in Japan understood the importance of maps on retro game systems. With the power of Google's immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we're excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack."
The post concludes with the promise of a version Nintendo Game Boy, and a hilarious warning: "Please be mindful of dragons while playing. We wish you a safe and happy quest."
Blogger Ben Garvey also found some interesting locations.
Enjoy the well-done video below that goes with it. (Thanks, Ars Technica)