A patent applied for by Nintendo that hinted at a Game Boy Classic appears to more than meets the eye, now that a more full look at the information has become available. Nintendo appears to be seeking to create a case for smartphones that acts as a playable shell for Game Boy games, effectively using your phone as a Game Boy Classic.
The patent, which was applied for in March 2018, became fully available this week. The patent illustrations show a wallet smartphone case with a Game Boy-style front that would be placed over the touchscreen. The buttons on the front cover would be usable, while the screen cutout on the front would presumably play Game Boy games.
It’s an interesting idea that definitely could solve some of the inherent problems with creating a Game Boy Classic versus a NES or SNES Classic. The addition of a screen as part of the standalone hardware likely makes it more expensive than is worth it for Nintendo, but leveraging a smartphone’s hardware for a Game Boy Classic makes a lot more sense.
The patent could also just be speculative and not imply Nintendo has actual plans to do this, but it’s an interesting solution to the question of how it could be done. If Nintendo is planning to launch this product, then 2019 seems like a good bet as it marks the 30th anniversary of the product.