Future Nintendo NX Console Could Possibly Use Android
The Japanese newspaper, Nikkei, has an interesting piece where Nintendo highlighted the difficulties of developing for specific platforms, indicating a move to an open operating system such as Android.
Nintendo could quite possibly move to an Android based operating system.
Essentially, Nintendo stated that it wasn’t easy for third party developers to make games for other gaming platforms and for Nintendo’s consoles. This could very well create a rift between those third party developers and Nintendo, decreasing the chances of seeing AAA games on their consoles in the future. It’s never quite as simple as importing assets into the development environment. Development costs can rise exponentially when dealing with disparate consoles. The PS4 and Xbox One at least share a basic underlying similarity.
So, Nintendo might look into using a highly modified version of an open operating system to make development that much easier. Android is an easy choice with its already great selection of API’s for gaming. It could also translate into a more seamless partnership with DeNa for the creation of mobile games, and could perhaps even enable cross-play at some point in the future.
Android being based on Linux means that there is a lot of flexibility in terms of hardware they can use. They would only be limited by the imagination of their own developers and programmers. If AMD is indeed actually selected for a hardware partner, then they could of course provide the low-level access to their graphics solution, with x86 instructions already built in anyway.
The move could be viable, and doesn’t have to seem as limited as it might. Android can be very capable in the right hands. The base OS is already powerful and supports a great number of hardware solutions as is. But would this mean that then Nintendo would have to pay Microsoft the royalty fees for the use of Android as well?
At this point, however, we know next to nothing about Nintendo’s future platform aside from that they are working on something. Plans and specifics won’t be revealed until sometime in 2016. Until then we do know that they are focusing on great first party titles for the Wii U and on their partnership with DeNa to provide first party titles on mobile platforms.
Stay tuned for more information as we receive it.