Nintendo's phone case patent turns your handset into a Game Boy

Over the years, we've seen numerous Game Boy-inspired phone mods and cases attempt to rekindle that childhood handheld gaming magic; sadly, due to their unofficial nature, the vast majority have been quite lame. 

It appears that won't be the case (get it?) for much longer, as it's been revealed that Nintendo has filed a patent for an official smartphone case that will turn your handset into the beloved 90s portable. 

First discovered by Siliconera, the patent shows a folio-style case with a window cutout, along with a classic D-pad, and A, B, Start and Select buttons – all presented in the original Game Boy layout.

An additional cutout is also included for the smartphone's front-facing camera – could Game Boy Camera functionality be making a comeback?

When clasped over a smartphone, the buttons will interact with the device's touchscreen, leading us to wildly speculate that Nintendo is planning to release an official Game Boy app that will house the handheld's classic catalogue of titles.

At present, there's no word on a release date for the Game Boy case, and it's also unclear which devices it will be compatible with – the patent shows fitted corners on the inside of the case to hold devices tight, suggesting this won't be a one-size-fits-all affair. We'll keep you updated as more information is revealed.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.