While it's impossible to escape the somewhat shady nature of emulation - especially when you're talking about modern-day systems - we've kept a keen eye on developments in recent years. Wii emulation is at the point where games can be given a lush HD lick of paint, while Wii U emulation is progressing at a respectable pace as well.

Now it's the turn of the 3DS, and emulator Citra has come on leaps and bounds lately. Putting aside the questionable legal nature of running ROMs on such a program - it's certainly not something we would condone given that Nintendo needs every penny it can get from sales right now - it's hard not to be impressed by how amazing these titles look when presented in glorious HD.

The 3DS is, of course, quite an old system now and was arguably technically outdated the moment it was released, but its games still have the power to thrill from a visual perspective - even more so when you see them running in HD.

As you can see from the gallery below (click to enlarge each image), even quite early 3DS games like Pilotwings Resort and Super Mario 3D Land look positively gorgeous when upscaled via the emulator, although overall performance is still very much a work in progress. Given that NX is rumoured to be a hybrid system that will fuse Nintendo's handheld and domestic markets, could we possibly see 3DS games given the HD treatment on that console? These screenshots give a tantalising glimpse of a potential future.

[via citra-emu.org]