Nintendo has been granted a patent for a videogame instant messaging system. Originally filed in 2000, this patent could lead to lawsuits against other game console manufacturers.
It looks as though Microsoft's Xbox Live system may infringe upon Nintendo's new patent. If so, Nintendo could try to reach a cross-licensing deal that would allow it to delve into areas covered by some of Microsoft's patents. Sony is another potential target if Nintendo tries to pursue the matter.