Remember Nintendogs? Of course you do. Outside of the likes of Pokémon and anything with Mario’s face slapped on it, Nintendo’s puppy-raising simulator could probably be blamed for a big chunk of the success of the Nintendo DS handheld.
As massively popular as Nintendogs was, it’s all but disappeared since the sequel, Nintendogs + Cats landed on the 3Ds, leaving a pet-sized gap in many gamers’ libraries.
That could be about to change though, if a recent patent filing from Nintendo is any kind of indication of a future for the franchise. The patent, which you can see here if you’re a fiend for legal documents, shows a concept for an AR-enabled mobile app that shows how a virtual dog might be applied to a real-world environment through the camera on a mobile device.
The patent itself is less about the concept of applying a virtual animal to an augmented-reality environment, which is hardly anything new, and more about the technology powering it providing a faster and more responsive AR experience.
Of course, it’s far from any real confirmation that Nintendo is thinking about a new Nintendogs game, but it certainly makes a lot of sense for the company to leverage such a nostalgia-rich IP for its continued foray into mobile games and AR experiences. As much as I’m sure many fans would prefer a fully-fledged Switch entry, the augmented angle could be just as exciting (and who knows what features Nintendo’s next major console could have?)