The patent specifically covers emulation of Game Boy, Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance systems for use on devices ranging from mobile phones to screens built into the back of aeroplane seats, Endgadget reports.
Investors and industry analysts have increasingly called for Nintendo to release games for smartphones, and this patent could lead to exactly that.
However, it is equally likely that the patent is a defensive anti-piracy move on Nintendo's part, providing another avenue for the firm to pursue fan-made emulators and hacks for mobile devices, tablets and smartphones.
Nintendo filed patent number 8,157,654 back in October, 2003. The patent was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 17, 2012.
Nintendo recently created stirs by registering a patent for the phrase 'Pokemon Adventure Camp' and registering a domain name for Super Mario 4.