The Nintendo 3DS isn’t limited to games with 3D models. A proof of concept video shown on Nintendo’s upcoming handheld had classic games – Punchout, Tennis, Mega Man 2, and Super Mario Bros. running in 3D.
All of the games retained their original sprite graphics with a newly applied 3D filter. Tennis had a blocky ball bounce towards the player from an opponent who was far away. Nintendo’s Table Tennis game had a floating hand that looked like was stacked on top of the screen.
The clip from Mega Man 2 was taken from Wood Man’s stage. See the fire? It appeared as if it was on its own plane in front of Mega Man. The robot wolf and Mega Man were on their own plane and the background was behind.
Super Mario Bros. in 3D may be the easier to explain. The 3D filter appeared to create layers – one with Mario and goombas, one for pipes, and another for background objects like bushes in the distance. The 3D effect made the pipes appear smaller, but in the distance when 3D was on.
Turning 3D off with the depth slider would revert Super Mario Bros. back to a regular NES game shown in a letterbox on the Nintendo 3DS.