Gaming technology may have advanced tremendously over the past few decades, but Nintendo’s love for simpler times is still evident.

With the release of the Switch and a long line of exciting games in the works, Nintendo has all but sealed its place as one of the most successful video game companies of all time. Yet no matter how far it has come, Nintendo always remembers its past.

A recent finding has revealed that Nintendo is now paying homage to one of its early gaming systems in the form of a U.S. patent for a smartphone case. Fitting snugly over touchscreen devices, the case bears a striking resemblance to a Game Boy, right down to the directional pad, two round buttons and a small cutout window where the screen would be. Filed on 16 March, 2018, the patent outlines a design allowing users to reliably transfer button inputs to touchscreens.

▼ Here’s a comparison of the case and the original Game Boy.
Could the grandfather of handheld consoles be on its way back?

▼ The smartphone cover appears slimmer…

▼ …and can be operated regardless of whether
bare hands or non-conductive gloves are used.

▼ Depressing the buttons or directional pad will cause
tiny conductive sheets to register inputs on the smartphone screen.

The patent also mentions that the case is not just limited to smartphones, but hints that it can be used for electronic equipment with touch screen functions and a display, such as tablets.

What’s most exciting, though, is that this could mean the return of a whole slew of classic Game Boy games in emulated form, including Super Mario Land, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Donkey Kong, and the very first installments of the legendary Pokémon series.

There has been no word of a release date, but seeing as how 2019 would be exactly 30 years after the Game Boy’s debut, chances are we would be seeing this smartphone case and its games arrive sometime next year. Considered a relic of a distant past by younger generations, this would definitely hit nostalgic notes for those who witnessed the rise of handheld systems.

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office via Siliconera, DQN Plus
Images: United States Patent and Trademark Office