A recently public United States patent application suggests that Nintendo may well be working on a new Nintendogs game for mobile devices — some 12 years after the last, hugely popular entry on the 3DS, Nintendogs + Cats.
The patent, initially filed in November of 2021, but made public just a few days ago (on January 17, 2023), details a “virtual reference plane and a virtual camera” — something which is then illustrated via various patent drawings showing a dog in a number of augmented reality mobile scenes.
This new patent lists a number of Nintendo employees as the inventors, including Kazuyoshi Sensui, Masahiro Nitta, and Junpei Horita.
The patent abstract goes on to explain how a virtual object (that’s the dog) would be overlaid on a captured image (whatever you would see via your phone camera).
The various patent images seem to suggest that a user could place a virtual dog into an augmented reality scene — like popping a pet on your living room sofa for example, with the ability to then capture screenshots to share.
Now, it’s worth noting that this patent application is chiefly focused on the core imaging technology that could be used to create such ‘virtual space’ images. However, other details, such as communicating with a server, user inputs, and even in-game currency processes are mentioned here.
Of course, this tech could be used for a wide-variety of augmented reality (AR) style experiences on Android and iOS, but it is rather intriguing to see Nintendo using a dog to illustrate just how they envision such technology could be utilised.
Ever since Nintendo got into the mobile gaming space with the likes of Miitomo and Super Mario Run in 2016, both the Nintendogs and Wario Ware series have been commonly requested as obvious mobile winners. In the years since we’ve seen Nintendo release mobile takes on the Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and Mario Kart series.
A new mobile Nintendogs game could be a much welcome modern take on the humble Tamagotchi, making use of smartphone features such as GPS for walks, the pedometer for step counting, and the camera for capturing sweet moments.
Whether such an experience comes to fruition we will have to wait and see — but having a Nintendog in your pocket sounds like a great idea to us, and Paris Hilton agrees.
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A lifelong Nintendo fan — has an unhealthy obsession with all things Super Mario 64. Writes about Nintendo in his weekly digest, and loves thinking about the future of video games.