Update, June 2: Nintendo strongly refuted the Nikkei report:
“There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX,” a company spokesman said in a statement to WSJ.
There you have it, rumor shot down. But, for what it’s worth, it’s possible that Nintendo is simply lying about the report not being true. It happened before.
Original post, June 1: Nintendo’s upcoming “NX” console will run a version of Android, according to a report from Japan’s respected Nikkei.
Nikkei is Japan’s most respected newspaper and the outlet published several accurate scoops on Nintendo in the past. With that said, this is, for now, just a rumor, albeit a plausible one.
Nintendo vowed to keep details of its next console under wraps until next year, but if the Nikkei report is accurate, a crucial detail just leaked. The publication cites an insider claiming that the NX’s operating system is “loaded with Android,” without providing any clarification on what that means.
NX is “loaded with Android”
The move, said the source, is meant to spur the adoption of the NX platform; developers have largely shunned the Wii U, but an Android-based OS could be much easier to develop for. Using Android would also give Nintendo a powerful and versatile operating system, coming after the sluggish OS it developed in-house for the Wii U.
Nintendo promised “a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept,” but at this point, we don’t even know if the NX will be a handheld or a home console. So it’s hard to predict what form Nintendo’s Android OS will take. It’s possible though that Nintendo will try to tap into the Android ecosystem without ceding control over the platform. To do so, the company would need to fork Android, but that shouldn’t be difficult, given that a gaming platform doesn’t need Google’s apps anyway.
In potentially related news, Nintendo last month announced it would launch five new Android games over the next three years, with the first one due in 2015.
Would it be wise for Nintendo to adopt Android? Let us know your thoughts.