Since the invention of smartphones, the phone case industry has been developing all types of cases, including ones that look like the first Game Boy. While these are merely for aesthetic purposes, Nintendo’s new project involving a similar design might not be. Discovered by Siliconera, Nintendo has patented a Game Boy style smartphone case.
The patent was filed a few months ago on March 16th, 2018, and the related images can be found here. At first glance, it is evident that this is no ordinary phone case. Judging from the button placements, this smartphone shell might be used to play games for the original Game Boy.
The design of the shell resembles the original Game Boy and the patent abstract gives a rundown of its functionality and working.
The patent images display a cutout for the smartphone screen with touchscreen compatible buttons. The buttons are lined with a conductive sheet to register a touch when the button is pressed. It is possible to display the current game in the small window, allowing the user to play with the smartphone cover closed.
Apart from the dimensions, this case has a few differences from the original Game Boy. Located at the top of the case, a small cutout exists so that the front camera and speakerphone can be accessed easily. The exterior of the case also includes openings for the phone speaker and the charging port. Although the images used in the patent resemble a smartphone, it also states that the shell “may be attached to other electronic equipment such as a tablet terminal that does not have a telephone function”.
Currently, there is no official Game Boy emulators for smartphones. This patent, together with Nintendo’s recent actions, such as the legal action against illegal ROM sites, could indicate that the company is developing an official emulation software.