updated 12:45 pm EDT, Sat March 31, 2012
Google Maps gets pseudo 8-bit mode for April Fools
While Electronista and MacNN intend to keep April Fools' reporting to a minimum, Google has offered a rarity by making one of the first gags for the year and also making it truly interactive and accessible. A one-off Quest mode in Google Maps turns the navigation tool into its "NES" version. Most features continue to work, but it now has a Legend of Zelda-style overhead map and renders Street View in an 8-bit color palette like the now 27-year-old Nintendo console.
An accompanying prank video touts Google Maps coming to the NES that plugs the cartridge into a dial-up modem to get on the Internet. Users have to blow on the cartridge to "fix bugs," Google says.
The 8-bit joke began as Asia rolled over into April 1 and is likely to keep running until the last time zones pass into April 2. Google often archives its April Fools' gags for later.