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Nintendo is no stranger to emulation, the process of making one special software in a newer device work like old hardware and make it work with other software that imitates the functions of physical discs and cartridges. Since the release of the Wii console and the Virtual Console functionality, we gamers have been able to play games from the NES, SNES and other Nintendo consoles without having to bring older consoles and cartridges back to the living room. So, why is Nintendo filing for a patent for Game Boy games to be played on modern devices and in-flight entertainment?
This past Thursday, a NeoGaf user found out Nintendo applied for a Game Boy software emulation patent at the USPTO back in June. Nintendo’s application was made public also two days ago and it shows images of a person using a GameBoy, a computer, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device, and a game controller while watching the action in a small screen in the back seat in a flight.
Though the company has been offering emulated games for years, it is unknown why Nintendo is taking this step. It looks as if it has been done not just for legal issues. Also, this is not an assurance that the Japanese company will be bringing classic games to iOS and Android devices. If Nintendo ever gets to make a free emulator app for mobile platforms, it would mean charging an extra 30% to the prices of games sold to mobile users from the Google Play and Apple App stores. Google does provide some alternatives to prices, though. Perhaps 30% is too much money for Nintendo to lose financially.
With the exception of certain Pokémon games, does this patent means Nintendo will change its mind and take games to mobile devices? Not really, but anything can happen.
[Sources]: USPTO: Hand-held video game platform emulation via Rösti @ NeoGaf: Nintendo files patent for Game Boy emulation on mobile phones, PDA’s, PC and more.