The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have awarded Nintendo with a patent for emulating older handheld consoles. Which handheld consoles you ask? Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance are being targeted for emulation on external "low capability" computing devices such as airline seat-back displays.
At the moment, it's unclear what Nintendo plan to do with the patent, but it is interesting nonetheless. Backwards compatibility on newer consoles usually uses software or hardware emulation to achieve the playback of older games. This new patent Nintendo hold covers both hardware and software emulation, but is specific to lower-powered devices, rather than modern systems.
The patent covers frame-skipping to enhance performance, as well as requirements that the emulated software have the look and feel greater than, or equal to the original hardware's execution - which is a very good thing. Global handheld emulation developed by Nintendo, which is addressed in the patent, would potentially open up a huge game back-catalog for usage on a wide variety of platforms, interestingly, not just Nintendo-produced ones.
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