Game Boy making possible comeback as Nintendo files new patent

The Game Boy Colour was discontinued back in 2003. Since then, we’ve seen a number of portable devices developed by Nintendo. Game Boy Advanced, Game Boy Advanced SP, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS. Now, arguably the best portable console Nintendo has released is the Nintendo Switch. But even with Switch’s roaring success, Nintendo continues to look at new ways to innovate. Luckily for nostalgic fans, this can mean reinventing the old. We’ve already seen the Classic Editions of SNES and Nintendo 64, so why not Game Boy’s Turn?

Patent filed for Game Boy Case

Nintendo recently filed a patent for a new Game Boy Case design. The images look and feel very similar to the original Game Boy device. According to the patent application, the primary objective of the case is to “provide a novel cover”. Whilst Nintendo aren’t bringing back the console in its entirety, it seems the goal of the Game Boy like case is something a little different. The case is designed for compatibility with portable devices such as phones or tablets. The idea is to make operating a touch screen much easier. Instead of simply touching the screen the case will provide buttons to interact with the current touch screens. The patent specifically focuses on the design elements for the buttons.

The images above show the specific designs which were filed for the patent application. The buttons provide the bulk of the design for the application (Images: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Innovation stretched to new lengths

This is a design that is innovative, useful, and plays on the nostalgia of Nintendo fans. With the rise of mobile gaming and portable games like Fortnite or PUBG, this design could be a game changer.

It’s great to see companies like Nintendo reigniting the old. Long time gamers feel a sense of attachment to consoles like the Game Boy. We grew up with them, they formed part of our childhood. To see them bought back in this fashion is a testament to the capabilities of our time. Icons from other eras are paired with the proficiencies of today to produce something new.

There’s no indication on when such cases will be made available to the general public. We definitely know that fans will be excited to see their much loved Game Boy back in fashion. Which console do you think will get a revamp next? Let us know in the comments below.

What does a patent mean?

Patents are filled to stop other companies from using a design, image, colour, or similar without the person of the person who owns the patent. They determine ownership of something and can use this ownership exclusively for the duration of the patent. Once a patent is granted, they usually only last 20 years. The filing of a patent application does not indicate the success of the application.

Nintendo may use their Game Boy case design with “patent pending” until such times as the patent is granted or not. Filing an application does not necessarily indicate the intent to sell or use the designs. In Nintendo’s case however we can assume they will be releasing the case for commercial purposes sometime in the near future.

Michelle Mannering
Michelle is a Content Producer in the realms of innovation and technology. Known as the “Hackathon Queen”, you’ll often find her on stage MC’ing or speaking on a range of topics from artificial intelligence, to business, community engagement, the future of work, esports, and gaming. With a background in both science and arts, Michelle writes extensively on a range of topics including innovation, startups, corporate culture, esports, business development, and more. She has a passion for gaming and combines this with her experience in a range of industries. Michelle brings a unique insight into gaming world and draws on many of her research areas.