Saturday, March 31, 2012

Google's first 2012 April Fools' Day joke is 'Google Maps for NES'

It isn't quite April Fools' Day yet, but Google has already sprung one of its famous April Fools' Day jokes on the Internet. Go to Google Maps, and you'll see that Google has addressed a long-standing problem: the inability of folks to view Google Maps on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

After all, a video game system is a computing system. Nintendo sold 62 million units of the NES, as well, making it one of the most popular computing systems ever.

Don't forget, however, the familiar tricks necessary if you can't get the Google Maps cartridge to work: blow on the cartridge first. You might need to pop it in and out a few times, as well.

If you don't have an NES, you can try it directly by going to and clicking "Try It Now" in the "Start Your Quest" section.

Here's what Google says:

"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."

Notably, a mobile version for the Nintendo Game Boy is also under development.

Google is famous for releasing a huge number of April Fools' Day jokes on the Internet on April 1, and we're sure this year will be no different. One has to wonder just how much productivity on "real" products lags in the months leading into April 1.

You can watch a demo of the NES version of Google Maps below.

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