The iconic video game development studio Nintendo has filed a patent for a new Game Boy-style case for touchscreen devices. The case features the same design as the classic handheld video game console the Game Boy. However, this isn’t just another ordinary protective care for touchscreen devices. While it will likely offer some protection for touchscreen devices, it’s designed to provide a familiar interface where users can play Game Boy games — or other Nintendo games — on their touchscreen device using the same control layout as the Game Boy.
According to TweakTown, the recently filed patent shows what appears to be a Game Boy case that’s used to house a touchscreen device, such as a smartphone. The smartphone is placed inside the actual case. The upper portion of the case features a cutout for the touchscreen device’s display, while the bottom portion of the case features the Game Boy’s controls, including a directional keypad, a start button, select button, and A and B buttons.
The buttons of the patented Game Boy are designed to work with touchscreen devices. When you press a button on the Game Boy case, for example, it presses against the surface of the touchscreen device. Being that most touchscreen devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, use capacitive touch-sensing technology, you might be wondering how the Game Boy case is able to trigger touch commands. Well, the patent reveals that Nintendo’s bold new product features conductive material at the bottom of the buttons. When you press a button on the Game Boy case, the conductive material presses against the surface of your touchscreen device.
Assuming these specifications are true, this means you can use the Game Boy case to control a touchscreen device either with or without gloves. Wearing gloves typically prevents touchscreen devices from registering touch commands because they aren’t made of conductive material. The Game Boy case, however, features conductive material on the bottom of its buttons, so this isn’t a problem.
So, how much is Nintendo selling the Game Boy touchscreen case for? Unfortunately, Nintendo hasn’t even confirmed the product, so it may take some time until it’s released. In fact, Nintendo may never produce or release the Game Boy case. Like many companies, Nintendo is known to patent its ideas so that competitors can’t develop them into products. This could be another case of Nintendo trying to protect its ideas with patents, or it could be the beginning of a new product in the works. Either way, Nintendo’s patented Game Boy case certainly shows promise.
You can learn more about Nintendo’s patented Game Boy case for touchscreen devices by visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website here.