Report: Nintendo NX gaming console will be based on Android


nintendo characters

Nintendo is finally embracing mobile after years of dodging the platform in all regards. They’ve already committed to mobile apps surrounding their games, and they even have plans to bring a healthy amount of games over the course of the next couple of years.

Their next move could help them tap into the mobile market even more. Nikkei, a reputable Japanese firm, is reporting that the Nintendo NX — their next home gaming console — will use Android for the software platform.

We imagine the Nintendo NX won’t have your typical Android TV experience, but rather a custom fork that Nintendo can build on top of, not unlike what Amazon does in the realm of phones, tablets and the Amazon Fire TV.

So where do the mobile implications come in? Building a platform based on Android could allow Nintendo to create a development environment that thousands of developers are already familiar with. It won’t be as simple as copying and pasting code, obviously, but porting a game to or from the Nintendo NX could be light work. Such a platform would benefit both independent developers and Nintendo themselves, so it’s a win-win situation.

Of course, any good move to get more developers on board will be good because Nintendo has had a tremendous struggle with the Wii U. The console hasn’t been selling nearly as well as the original Wii, largely thanks in part to its lack of third party titles (which in turn is due to the fact that the Nintendo Wii U is simply not powerful enough for game developers to build the types of games they want to these days). Nintendo’s network infrastructure can also accept partial blame as developers find it a lot less pleasing to work with than that of the Xbox One’s and PS4’s.

Nintendo is sure to go all in with the Nintendo NX, and if it’s running Android by the time it’s out you can be sure we’ll be paying attention.

[via Wii U Daily]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. This is an interesting announcement for sure, but Android platform hasn’t exactly brought us the most engaging video games. Most games are very VERY simple both graphically and interface wise. I’ll be interested to see how it does when pushed as a platform for bringing more rich gaming content. Traditionally the OSes have been very custom, helping the platform squeeze the most out of the decided hardware so it can stay “flagship” for a few years before the next console is ready. I know hte graphics race seems to be dead in consoles … so maybe that’s not as critical as it used to be … but this will certainly push the android platform differently than it’s used to.

    1. This will be the real test how powerful android kernel will be to play games

      1. You have no idea what you’re saying, stop

        The real test will be how well games written in java can run. This is a radical departure from traditional console gaming development. Console games have traditionally run closer to the metal than any other platform, in this case, they won’t be. Should be interesting.

        1. ok thanks

        2. You have no idea either. Android can run close to the metal with C/C++ too using the NDK.

          1. Is running closer to the metal the reason they keep slimming down devices?


            EDIT: I’m not being serious btw

        3. Doesn’t google now have a deeper API akin to Apples Metal?

    2. One of the main reason games have been as simple as they have been is that the devs who make them are really just after a cash grab most of the time. I am pretty sure Nintendo will be doing what most devs aren’t these days when it comes to android based games. Which would be taking their time and making games for a single device unlike now where games have to run on a multude of devices new and old. Meaning games made with multiple devices in mind have to take into consideration the specs of all these older devices and android versions hanging around. Meaning the games have to be simple so that these older devices can run said games. I can’t really say the NVIDIA shield line is better since NVIDIA themselves aren’t the ones making the games that run on the shield devices. Most of the shield games are ports of older games and have not been made from the ground up using android as the main/only OS.

      We will have to see what Nintendo can do with Android running the show and what sort of hardware they decide to use in the NX. I have been hearing that the NX and its companion are ARM based so using Android as a base makes some sense in that regard. There is a lot of bloatware in Android that Nintendo has no use for.

  2. Oh boy. Now Phandroid will be reporting on Nintendo. Lol….

    1. Quick, register the website: Nintendroid.com and Antendo.com

      1. I’m too done with you!!

        No lie, I do be wanting to register random domains in hopes someone rich may want them. =.3

        Pay me 100K for the AllYoTime domain. LoL!!

  3. Nice

    1. I actually like this version better. I died just reading it. I imagine him talking to the shop keepers like that. LoL!!

  4. When the news be too OP.

  5. “Nintendo is finally embracing mobile after years of dodging the platform in all regards.”

    This is a joke right? Have you ever heard of the 3DS?

    1. What’s that?

    2. The DS line are handhelds that just happen to be mobile. Mobile gaming is gaming done on our phones. Something Nintendo definitely has been behind on.

    3. I meant mobile in terms of smartphones and tablets, not dedicated handheld gaming devices.

  6. If Nintendo wants to become relevant again they should give the developers what they want which is a powerful console that has a good online infrastructure, please the developers and they will develop games for the system then the people will buy the system if it has games and specs current with PS and Xbox that they want, also get rid of the wii name it sounds to child like.

  7. interesting, will it be region locked like all of their recent systems (or even have discs?). That is my biggest complaint with nintendo is the region locks. My PS3 is only locked because of blueray disc region but if I buy a game in the USA or in Japan it works on my PS3, unlike the wii/3DS

  8. Amazing. I’m asking Sony since 2009 to release PSP with Android. It’s great news.
    Another thing I want is a screen size of at least 6 inch.I prefer btw 6~7 inchs

  9. I’m more worried about piracy

  10. What are the chances that the console runs it’s own non-android based OS but includes a Wii U like gamepad with screen that runs Android so that it can be used without the console?

  11. Unfortunately this rumor is false. The best console for open-source/UNIX software is PS4. It’s FreeBSD based and includes all of this:

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