A recently discovered patent suggests Nintendogs could be coming to mobile devices.
The discovery of a US patent has ignited hopes for the return of Nintendogs, re-imagined as an augmented reality (AR) title available on mobile devices.
The patent, which Nintendo filed on January 17, describes a pet simulator game that uses AR technology. While there is no explicit mention of Nintendogs, the comparisons are easy to make.
Included in the patent application are several images that show how you could place a virtual dog in the real world.
This way to interact with virtual creatures isn't new ground for a Nintendo IP; Niantic's Pokemon GO added an AR+ mode in 2022, which uses the same technology to place Pokémon into the real world.
The return of Nintendogs would pique the interest of many. The game was a sensation when it debuted on the Nintendo DS in 2005, allowing players to adopt a virtual dog, feed, groom, and train them. It would sell over 28 million copies worldwide, making it the second most popular Nintendo DS game ever, behind only New Super Mario Bros.
A sequel, Nintendogs + Cats, was released on the 3DS in 2011; however, since then, the IP has only appeared in other Nintendo games and not a standalone game.
A move to mobile devices seems like the play for Nintendogs in 2023. The Nintendo Switch has no camera, and with the ubiquitous smartphone, no one needs to be without their own virtual pet.
Using AR, you will also be able to take it on virtual walks around your own neighborhood, call out to it using your smartphone's microphone, and we are sure doggie meet-ups are a given.
Stay tuned, as we'll likely be hearing much more about this patent in the coming months.