In 2016, Nintendo started developing games designed specifically to be played on smartphones. Titles like Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp have brought some of the world’s most lovable characters to our pockets without the tactical buttons or plastic, boxy devices we knew and loved. That might be changing, though, because Nintendo has submitted an application for a patent that would make your smartphone look and feel just like a Game Boy.
The patent application was filed this spring, and it describes a case that would fold over a smartphone, showcasing the classic rectangular Game Boy design. There’s a square cutout in the case which let the phone serve as the pseudo-handheld’s screen, and the buttons below it would be interactive, capable of delivering the input to the touchscreen. It’s something that other third-party companies have tried to do before — with varying degrees of success.
Patents don’t always result in products, but Nintendo is having a pretty solid run on behalf of its nostalgia-fueled releases. The NES Classic sold out immediately following its release in 2016, and that excitement continued when it was re-released this summer, selling more systems than the PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch in the month of June. It wouldn’t be surprising for the company to meld its classic games and devices with a new case and bring them to mobile.
And they should. I desperately want to play Kirby’s Dream Land on my phone without having to use emulators.