Nintendo patents Game Boy emulators and you can guess why

first_imgI don’t know of many platforms today that don’t have support for some kind of classic game emulator. The ability to fire up digital versions of games that you acquired through perfectly legal means and play them using an emulator is legal, but the volume of people playing emulated games who don’t own an original copy accounts for significantly more than those of us who follow the rules.Emulated games, especially on mobile devices, are immensely popular, and as such Nintendo either wants a piece of the action or they want to stop it happening. In fact, they may even want both.Nintendo is no stranger to the act of defending their IP in the digital age. As any prominent YouTube channel who talks about or reviews Nintendo content will tell you, the company redefines aggressive when it comes to protecting what’s theirs. This makes the recent patent that was awarded to Nintendo downright dangerous for folks who enjoy emulated content.As of right now, Nintendo has everything they need to make sure emulators for Game Boy games are banned from legitimate app stores for good. This wouldn’t stop emulation from happening, especially when it’s so easy to side-load an app onto smartphones nowadays, but it would significantly decrease the visibility of these emulators.Alternatively, this could be the start of a bold new era for Nintendo. One in which they decide to take ownership of emulation and release Game Boy games on iOS and Android as standalone titles that they would profit immensely from. Nintendo certainly has a massive back catalog to choose from, and if these games were released in an official capacity on mobile app stores it would be instantly successful just by existing. However, that would be a massive departure from the way this company currently does business.It’s fun to hope, but eventually reality sets in and you realize we’re probably a month away from Game Boy emulators becoming an endangered species on app stores.last_img