We don’t know much at all about Nintendo’s next platform, currently named the NX by the company in early rumblings. We know it’s being co-developed by mobile game maker DeNA, though the hard facts stop there.
Nikkei, a Japanese publication, has a feature up regarding the DeNA and Nintendo partnership. The article was linked and its important bit summarized by NeoGAFer duckroll. Nikkei, according to the story, has a insider source saying that the Nintendo NX will feature an Android based OS.
As the thread dealing with the rumor suggests, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Nintendo is making a microconsole like the Ouya. Instead, they’re using an open platform like Android in order to encourage third party support, the company’s biggest problem for almost decades now.
This is nothing more than a rumor at this point. I personally had to take a minute to check my negativity upon reading the headline, too. As much as I love Android, I get a little nervous when gaming consoles are mentioned in line with the OS. However, I know TechnoBuffalo is as good a crowd as any to discuss this point: Android OS is flexible. While the Ouya is certainly an under-powered machine, that isn’t Android’s fault. With proper hardware, it could play incredible games.
If Nintendo’s NX is Android based, perhaps the company is aiming to use the OS between both its next home and portable systems, allowing for cloud saves and pick-up-and-play moments. This could even potentially mean the next few generations of Nintendo hardware are entirely backwards compatible with ease.
I’m very on the fence about this potential news. If Nintendo does this right, it could be huge. If they bungle and deliver an under-powered phone that happens to play games, that might be the end of the company.