Google Maps 8-bit version for NES: April Fools arrives a day early in Mountain View

Well, it appears that April Fools is in full effect -- at least if you ask Google. Today the company introduced its "latest" build of Google Maps, dubbed Google Maps 8-bit version, tailored specifically for the Nintendo Entertainment System. According to Google, this Dragon Quest spoof version of Maps will come in the form of a special NES cartridge that can connect to the internet via dial-up. This apparently allows most of the heavy lifting to get done on Google's servers, where the maps are rendered to 8-bit form "in real-time." Better yet, it even supports voice search. Naturally, there's no word on a release date, but you can currently check out the "beta" by visiting Google Maps in your browser and selecting "Start Your Quest." That said, that company warns that "your system may not meet the minimum requirements for 8-bit computations" -- something tells us it'll still be less resource-intensive than Crysis, though. We've checked it out and found some goodies, including an alien at Area 51, so let us know what you come across during your journey in the comments.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]