Nintendo may be bringing Game Boy to smartphones. The company filed for a patent for Game Boy emulators back in June. That patent was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office the on Nov. 27.
There is language in the patent for Nintendo to emulate software from the Game Boy line, including Color and Advance on smartphones, PCs, and even seat-back displays on airplanes. But that necessarily does not mean Game Boy apps will be coming to iOS or Android in the near future. There are numerous reasons they may have obtained the patent. For starters the new patent is just an update of a patent Nintendo filed and obtained in 2003.
Game Boy emulators have existed in the past for smartphones. Apple has made a conscious effort to block and remove any apps resembling the software. But unlike Apple, Android has numerous emulators available in their app store. Of course emulating the Game Boy is not legal, and could explain why Nintendo wants to maintain the patent. By updating it, the company could just simply be protecting its intellectual property. Of course that will not stop consumers’ hopes that Nintendo may be bringing Game Boy to smartphones.
Maybe they are recognizing the high demands of consumers searching for Game Boy games on their phones. For years people have yearned for the opportunity to play their favorite games such as Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda on their phones. Imagine the euphoria that would be created if it was possible to emulate their catalog. In the past Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has implied that the concern towards game play quality has prevented the company of meeting the public’s demand. He suggested that if the quality is unsatisfying to consumers, it may decrease the brand’s content value.
However, Nintendo’s value may already be decreasing. Wii U sales are trailing the more popular Sony Playstation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft’s Xbox One. According to InfoScout, Wii U trailed its competitors in Black Friday sales. Xbox One led the way with 53 percent of the game console sales. PS4 grabbed 31 percent of the sales for second. Wii U did not even finish third. The older generation Xbox 360 had nine percent of the sales finishing ahead of Wii U’s six percent.
The information says 92 percent of the parents who bought the Wii U said they purchased the console for their children. But kids age 6-12 prefer the PS4 and Xbox One over the Wii U, according to a Nielsen Games study. Nintendo of Japan has already stopped production of the 3DS XL. There is no word if Nintendo of America will follow suit. But certainly recent struggles could force their hands to try something different.
That something different still will not be now. Nintendo just released Super Smash Bros. for both the 3DS and Wii U in North America. The game will release on Dec. 6 in Japan. The game features all of the company’s more popular characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link from Zelda. As one may imagine there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the game, and for now they are banking on the game to erase any struggles the company may have recently experienced. So in short even if Nintendo is planning on bringing the Game Boy to smartphones, it may take a while.
By King Motley
Photo by William Warby – Flickr License