Nintendo has filed a patent
to allow for Gameboy emulation on other hardware, including on the seat-back displays of trains and planes, as well as mobile phones.
NeoGAF member Rösti
spotted the patent, which was originally filed back in July this year, leading to speculation about what the Japanese gaming giant could be up to.
"A low-capability platform (e.g., a seat-back display or a personal digital assistant) may not have enough processing power to readily provide acceptable speed performance," Nintendo explains. "Unless the software emulator is carefully designed and carefully optimized, it will not be able to maintain real time speed performance when running on a slower or less highly capable processor."
But while this suggests Nintendo may be trying to create an environment where it can put high-quality emulated games out into the world, there's also speculation this could be part of a mission by the company to crack down on third-party emulators. One of the most popular Game Boy Advance emulators has been around since 2004, and you can find a host of options on both the Google Play Store and Windows Phone Marketplace. Apple no longer allows them, but you can still install one if you jailbreak it.
"A number of GAME BOY.RTM. emulators have been written for a variety of different platforms ranging from personal digital assistants to personal computers," the filing elaborates. "However, further improvements are possible and desirable."