Patents sometimes come and go. That’s exactly what happened with an idea Nintendo reserved over two decades ago, which is rather reminiscent of Super Mario Maker.
In 1994, Nintendo registered a U.S. patent for a “Video game/videographics program editing apparatus with program halt and data transfer features”. This would let users pause the gameplay and edit parts through a streamlined UI. Players would not need any knowledge of programming – just like Super Mario Maker.
In the patent description, there are various tidbits about the standalone hardware’s potential functions. These include changing the amount of items and behavior of enemies, rearranging level designs, resuming gameplay after editing, and saving the revised game. One portion of the patent mentions exchanging user-generated content via a telephone line as well. If given the right tools, players could even come up with their own gaming experience with the hardware.
It’s definitely an interesting concept, but one that never made it to market. You can see the original patent in full here.
Edited by Shulk, 16 January 2016 - 01:11 AM.