Google's hilarious April Fools' Maps launch

What the world needs is a Google Maps 8-bit for the Nintendo Entertainment System. So Google launches it as an April Fools' wheeze. But what is most beautiful is the performances from the actors in the launch video.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Google is funny. I have wanted to write that sentence for so long in a context where funny meant "intentionally humorous."

So here is an April Fools' work of art from the company that, to many minds, just might deserve righteous laughter. For here, purportedly, is the launch of Google Maps 8-bit for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

According to Google's Lat Long blog, this is something that the world desperately needs.

"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," wrote Google Maps software engineer, Tatsuo Nomura.

He goes on to wax with some lyricism about "beautiful low-res graphics; simple and intuitive controls; and a timeless soundtrack." He also promises a mobile version for Game Boy.

Yet even more enchanting is the deadpan performance of the actors in the promotional video. Their faces straighter than a Google engineer's on a Monday morning, the Japanese family waits for this technical revolution to reveal itself.

The father even blows on the cartridge to "fix bugs."

And then we see the beautiful low resolution of the maps, as the family searches for the Pyramids or tries to plot its route from Los Angeles to New York. The sheer joy when the family tries the voice search feature and discovers Peru Nazca will fill your heart with gladness.

I am grateful to The Next Web for revealing this April Fools' amusement. Unless, of course, this is just another attempt by Google to control absolutely every possible technological scenario in the world. No, no. It couldn't be.

 

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