Ever since Satoru Iwata announced the “NX” (a dedicated game platform), we’ve had quite a lot of rumours and speculations about it (even though Nintendo’s President and CEO clearly said that nothing would be revealed until 2016). And today, the latest rumour comes from the respectable Nikkei, who claims that Nintendo might use Android as the OS for the NX platform.
In its article (only available to paid subscribers), Nikkei cites an insider source, which claims that Nintendo might be using Android as the OS for its next dedicated game platform. While nothing is guaranteed, the source says it’s definitely a possibility for Nintendo, who needs to attract third-party publishers (especially after the Wii U fiasco, with publishers jumping ship very early).
While this may seem surprising at first glance, this is actually in line with what Satoru Iwata has been saying over the past few months.
During various meetings with investors, Satoru Iwata explained that Nintendo was trying “integrate the architecture [for their future platform] to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform.”
In other words: Satoru Iwata talked of a unified OS à la iOS or Android (he even directly mentionned those during a meeting), which would facilitate software development across home and portable consoles. Using Android (or a heavily-modified version, for added secutiry for example) would be one way to achieve that, but that wouldn’t mean Nintendo is trying to release a smartphone/tablet or an affordable console like the Ouya.
Interestingly enough, the Nikkei article also mentions ‘Project Aurora’, which dates back to 2000. At one time, Nintendo was in talks with DoCoMo (a Japanese mobile phone operator), in order to bring their games to mobile platforms. However, this project was ultimately scrapped.