Nintendo is looking to patent an invention that would allow the company to emulate its own games – found specifically on the Game Boy lineup of hand-held video game devices – onto other platforms such as mobile, seat-back displays on trains and airplanes, and possibly more.
Such a patent was initially filed almost a decade back in 2003 as well; the rights to which were officially handed to Nintendo in 2012, but the company has just filed another application which seems to be a continuation to the original, and shows that the Mario creator has developed an interest in making its classic games count for something by purchasing the rights to emulating them on different platforms.
This latest patent talks about a software designed specifically to emulate the games on found on “GAME BOY.RTM., GAME BOY COLOR.RTM. and/or GAME BOY ADVANCE.RTM”, onto an array of modestly powered platforms discussed above, but of course not limited to them. Fans have already been using a range of emulating tools on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices – such as GBA4iOS – to play all those classic titles from Nintendo, but given this latest patent application, Nintendo is probably looking at legitimately distributing these games once again.
Emulation of a licensed game is considered to be a form of piracy by some experts, but there are those who argue that given the fact that some titles are so old that they would not even exist outside of emulation, piracy is not relevant. However, platforms like iOS do not allow emulators and as soon as apps with such function are detected by the Apple review team, they are taken down from the App Store. Given the legitimacy considering where Nintendo is headed with its patent, Apple may let it hang around its store given the large consumer interest in emulators.
Nintendo is already emulating some older console titles on its newer systems, where titles from SNES, NES and Game Boy can be run on the Wii U, Wii and 3DS. This patent is here to see that such offerings can now be expanded to non-Nintendo devices as well, at a time when the company is struggling with its sales and inviting suggestions to offer up its classic titles onto smartphone devices, but that has not happened as yet. This patent could be the reason why.