ComicBook.com has learned that Nintendo and Game Freak have jointly filed a patent for what appears to be a new type of Pokemon card game.
The patent was filed last October in the US and calls for a "game apparatus" that includes a card display screen that includes an image of a card object. Furthermore, the patent references a Japanese counterpart, which was filed back in October 2016.
While patent applications are bit tricky to understand as it takes a deep dive into technical talk, from our reading, it seems that the patent is for some sort of new card game in which players collect cards and then scan them into a program. This program displays a representation of the card, which can then be used to virtually battle enemy characters. It seems like Nintendo and Game Freak are preparing to launch a new app that lets players scan Pokemon cards into a phone to let them "capture" and collect them in a new game.
Here's an image showing how the Pokemon will be displayed on screen:
While Pokemon isn't explicitly named, there's more than a few references that makes it clear that this patent is related to the Pokemon franchise. For example, the patent references that a player can "capture the character of the wild monster by operating the player character and make it a fellow character." In addition, the patent mentions that players can train the "fellow character" and raise its level and, in come cases "evolve" it.
In this patent, the cards can change color based on either the health or mood, and the background of the card changes when the card is tilted...as if imitating a hologram card.
Our guess is that this is for a brand new Pokemon mobile game, which blurs the line of reality and the world of Pokemon just like Pokemon Go. Players can "collect" Pokemon in the real world either via cards or some other kind of image and then raise them and train them via the app/game.
At first, we thought the patent was for a new type of hardware device, but the patent makes it clear that the hardware used in the patent isn't necessarily a dedicated game device, but could be a mobile smartphone instead. Coupled with the fact that most of the patent describes the description of the card display screen and how the game interprets data, the patent seems to be for the method of processing information than an actual piece of hardware. This leads us to believe that the patent is related to a new mobile app, instead of a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo 3DS game.
As this is just a patent application, this doesn't mean that the technology will actually be used in an upcoming game. It's also possible that the patent could be for a tie-in to the upcoming Pokemon Switch game, the in-development Pokemon Trading Card mobile game, or another sort of existing Pokemon product.
Does this sound like an exciting way to expand the Pokemon franchise? Let us know in the comment section.