A Closer Look at Nintendo’s Recent Game Patents

Nintendo, a pioneer in the gaming industry, has always been known for its innovative ideas and unique gameplay mechanics. It comes as no surprise then that the company has recently filed several patents. These patents shed light on some of the mechanics featured in two of Nintendo’s popular titles, Super Mario Bros. Wonder and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Although these patents may seem familiar to those who have played these games, they offer a glimpse into the intricacies and legal protection of Nintendo’s intellectual property.

One of the patents highlighted is related to Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s multiplayer mode and its ‘Ghost’ mechanic. This patent, originally submitted in August 2023, focuses on the game’s respawn feature. When a player is downed, they have the opportunity to make contact with an item, such as another character or a standee, to come back to life. The patent defines the ‘ghost’ mechanic as temporarily taking control of a character until an acceptable respawn point is reached. Although some nuances may have been lost in translation, players familiar with the multiplayer mode will recognize this mechanic.

Another patent discussed in the blog post revolves around The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (TOTK) and its Link’s Ultrahand ability. Nintendo has previously submitted patents related to TOTK due to its innovative features. This specific patent, published on 12th December 2023, focuses on improving the usability of the game’s mechanic in which players connect virtual objects to generate a single, composite object. The mechanic allows players to select an item and move it close to another, effectively ‘gluing’ them together. By doing so, the two objects act as one. This patent delves into the technical details of implementing this mechanic in a way that enhances the overall user experience.

While Nintendo is known for filing numerous patents, it’s important to note that these patents often focus on the specific implementation of a feature rather than the mechanic itself. Although the filing of patents may appear aggressive, it is all part of Nintendo’s strategy to protect its intellectual property and ensure its ideas remain exclusive to their games. The gaming community should not interpret the existence of these patents as a limitation on future games’ creativity. In fact, Nintendo’s constant innovation suggests that we may see similar features in upcoming games.

Nintendo’s recent patents provide valuable insights into the mechanics of Super Mario Bros. Wonder and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. These patents, though specific to certain features, underscore Nintendo’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of gaming and delivering unique experiences to players worldwide. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo leverages its patents to create even more innovative and immersive gameplay. Players can eagerly anticipate the arrival of new Nintendo titles that build upon these patented mechanics.


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