AMD just might be working on the Nintendo NX chip. Actually, it seems pretty likely.
Previously, the company’s chief financial officer had hinted that the company is working on multiple custom chips and hinted that one of them was in gaming. On Friday, AMD chief executive Lisa Su said that the company is working on a third custom contract worth, according to GamesBeat, a billion dollars in sales.
AMD provides the chips for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U right now, so it seems likely that they’d provide the chip for the next console as well. For Nintendo to design their own chip would be cost prohibitive to say the least.
One of the bigger hurdles ahead of the next Nintendo console, though, is that the Wii U sports a Power PC-based chip, while other consoles are x86. The Power PC architecture is outdated at this point, and Nintendo would likely be forced to move to x86. One of Nintendo’s biggest boasts has been the long-running backward compatibility of their systems, with the Wii playing GameCube games and the Wii U playing Wii games – not to mention their handhelds. A switch in processor architecture would make this much more difficult to preserve and some sort of software emulation or a chip that can handle both architectures would have to be implemented.
With bits and pieces of rumors mounting with each month, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Nintendo officially unveils the NX.