While Nintendo is known for the quality of its first-party titles — to the point that one great Mario or Zelda game can be enough to sell a good number of consoles — the company has had trouble attracting third-party developers for some time now.
Enter the Nintendo NX, the top-secret new console that company president Satoru Iwata announced in March of this year. Little has been said about the console apart from its name and that it is a “brand new concept.” While the lid is still on, a Japanese newspaper has reported a very interesting rumor.
An insider told The Nikkei, one of the largest newspapers in Japan, that the Nintendo NX’s operating system is “loaded with Android,” Kotaku reports. The reason? Android’s ubiquity could make it more attractive to third-party developers. “This would be able to speed up getting all game developers on board,” the unnamed insider told Nikkei.
Right now, this is nothing but a rumor. That said, The Nikkei has a history of reporting on rumors that turn out to be true. The newspaper reported that Nintendo was looking into smartphone games long before Nintendo announced its partnership with DeNA, and it also reported on rumors of a new, larger Nintendo 3DS months before the 3DS XL was announced.
Assuming this rumor turns out to be true, there are still myriad possibilities as to the actual implementation. First, it’s likely that the system would simply be based on Android, as with the Ouya. Second, the specific wording could be the result of how the report was translated, and so it could point to running Android in addition to a proprietary operating system, possibly via virtualization.
We do know one thing: we’ll have plenty of time to speculate. Nintendo has already announced that it won’t be sharing any details on the NX at this year’s E3, and it has no plans to talk about it at all until 2016.