The patent, first discovered by Siliconera, was filed earlier this year and has a publication date of September 27, 2018. This case would make it easy to play those games as they were originally intended, and those who don't purchase the case could still play those games in some other format (at least in theory). Unfortunately, touch screen controls have always been a barrier with tactile buttons reigning supreme.
Apart from the dimensions, this case has a few differences from the original Game Boy.
Nintendo does not now offer any Game Boy software for Android or iOS devices, but this patented case could mean retro handheld games are on the way.
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This case features all the Game Boy buttons you'd expect, which can be pressed to activate the touchscreen beneath, with the case open where the screen would be, meaning you can play certain games using this case. A pair of those will cost you 50 - hopefully this phone case, if it materialises, will come a little cheaper.
An additional cutout is also included for the smartphone's front-facing camera - could Game Boy Camera functionality be making a comeback? The decision to keep these parts of a user's phone available could be because Nintendo is intending this to be more than a novelty. There's also the chance no new product is actively in the works, and that Nintendo is simply trying out prototypes.
Just what we all needed but didn't know we should be asking for: a Nintendo-developed cell phone case that magically transforms our overpriced modern-day communication leashes into 1990s-vintage Game Boys. Dragalia Lost and Fire Emblem Heroes were built to take specific advantage of smart phones.