Nintendo patent points to official smartphone Game Boy emulator

Game Boy emulators for Android and iOS are nothing new. One trip to the Google Play Store reveals pages upon pages of the things. However, it looks as if Nintendo could actually be working on its own official emulator if a new patent is to be believed.

Nintendo patent points to official smartphone Game Boy emulator

Nintendo’s patent was first discovered by Siliconera and reveals a folio-style phone case whose front is that of a classic Game Boy. The four-way directional pad, A, B, Start and Select buttons all work by interacting with the phone screen tucked away beneath. A cutout for the Game Boy screen is at the top and there’s even a cutaway for a front-facing camera fuelling speculation on Game Boy Camera functionality.

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Filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Nintendo’s Game Boy cover patent doesn’t explicitly state what device it’ll work on. Given how different Android phones can be from one another, Nintendo may simply just launch this for iPhone and perhaps skip other devices to avoid complication. However, the patent does outline that the device “may be attached to other electronic equipment such as a tablet terminal that does not have a telephone function.”


As Nintendo says that the windowed portion of the Game Boy case is simply an overlay to the touchscreen device below, it’s believed that Nintendo must be working on a Game Boy emulator of its own to ensure parity with its physical device. If this is the case, the Game Boy phone case could, in effect, be a Nintendo Classic Mini Game Boy – bringing its branding in line with the mini NES and mini SNES already in the market.

We’re still waiting on hearing more on the rumoured Nintendo Classic Mini N64 and a potential Nintendo Classic Mini GameCube, but news on a potential new device is always welcome. I just hope that Nintendo manages to replicate the experience of playing games in direct sunlight on that awful Game Boy screen. Fingers crossed.

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