Nikkei: Nintendo's NX platform will use an Android OS

Would be hilarious if they moved to Java! At least if the do this there will be no more region locking as it's be hacked in under a minute.
 
It's really going to depend on how they've been writing Wii U games. Iwata has made a point to say that Wii U software was being created in a way that it can be easily folded into their next system, so I'm starting to think that means they are writing to the metal as little as humanly possible, so there's fewer calls directly to the hardware architecture that need to be re-written and it can be "translated" to whatever NX hardware is through a software wrapper. (am I understanding this right? If I'm not, I need someone to correct me)
I think that it's possible Iwata meant that they could port the WiiU API to their new system. It's possible in theory, although I don't know if it'll have many advantages beyond backward compatibility. And I'd argue BC is valued a lot higher on GAF compared to the general market.
The succes of PS4 and even xboxOne shows the market doesn't care about BC, they even use the whole remaster thing as a marketing opportunity to re-release games from previous gen (& nintendo is doing the same now to a certain degree with their Wii games on eshop).

This has probably been brought up but where does this leave iOS support? Ifnthey go this route are their mobile games likely to be Android exclusive?
This has nothing to do with eachother. Their mobile games will be on ios/android.
Android the OS and Android the Google-eco system are a completely different thing (although heavily tight together) people seem to assume choosing the android OS as a basis for their drivers/filesystem/network code is the same as having the play store and running APK's (google's applications).
 
Android is, for sure, much better than any console or handheld OS available right now.

If this turns out to be true, I can only see it as a good thing.
Yep thats very true.


I've had more fun on this setup than i've had in a long time with handheld gaming. 128gb microsd card + 32gb inbuilt storage in my Note 3 means i'm never running out of top quality games to play. Also got a 12000 mAh power pack so it lasts forever too.

The possibilities with Android are just too expansive to ignore.
 
Considering how hard it is to do some things with the WiiU due to anti-piracy measures, I'll be surprised if this is true, as Android as a whole is very open
 
Literally the most reliable source when it comes to Nintendo leaks. It's as good as confirmed if you ask me.
They have been right on the money before with some 3DS leaks I believe, right?

At any rate, quite an interesting development. This thing might turn into something pretty crazy if they're willing to go this far.
 
Hope there's more to this to follow. Maybe with the Android OS it means Nintendo will court developers like they mean it. I could squeeze their next platform inbetween my PC and XBoxOne gaming, just as long as some of those 3rd party games stay exclusive(not really a big follower of their 1st party outside of Mario and Metroid.) Atleast they're trying. Will be watching and hoping for good things.
 
Yeah that'll really bring back the quality third party support. If anything they'll treat it just like the Wii and use it as a dumping ground with a deluge of low quality games in a attempt to take advantage of it being on Android.

If anything this is Nintendo's swan song. But no worries I certainly won't waste time on another Nintendo console after the disappointment that is the WiiU and how underwhelmed I feel in regards to the 3DS I have sitting next to me with a layer of dust on it. I've faced facts that Nintendo has lost it and this is just another sign. Ouya 2.0 incoming.
 

Mpl90

Two copies sold? That's not a bomb guys, stop trolling!!!
Yeah that'll really bring back the quality third party support. If anything they'll treat it just like the Wii and use it as a dumping ground with a deluge of low quality games in a attempt to take advantage of it being on Android.

If anything this is Nintendo's swan song. But no worries I certainly won't waste time on another Nintendo console after the disappointment that is the WiiU and how underwhelmed I feel in regards to the 3DS I have sitting next to me with a layer of dust on it. I've faced facts that Nintendo has lost it and this is just another sign. Ouya 2.0 incoming.
Good.
 
So, people who have dev tools for Android OS will be able to port their software to the NX a bit easier?

Similar to how there's a variation of Windows CE in the Dreamcast and various similarities between the Windows PC OS and the Windows in the Xbox/360/One?

It's not going to be "Lollipop on Nintendo" or "The Wii oUya." It's going to be it's own OS that will be more compatible, in terms of software, with other Android OS, I suppose.

Okay.
 
Literally the most reliable source when it comes to Nintendo leaks. It's as good as confirmed if you ask me.
They've had some wrong details occasionally and some big things wrong, too.

Off the top of my head, they did correctly report on the Nintendo third party initiative, but inexplicably detailed the first title as Seaman 3DS. If that game ever existed, it has never been made public, and no one has ever brought forth any evidence it was anything more than the Nikkei's rumor.

There was also the time they said the 3DS would launch with full game installs - if I recall correctly, they specifically used Kid Icarus as an example, saying you could install the entire game to your system and not have to bother with the cart anymore. Sort of a portable Xbox One when it was still that DRM box. This never materialized. Maybe they got confused with the eShop, but that's a way different thing, came a year or more after launch, and Kid Icarus wasn't offered for even longer after that.

Not sure where to file this one yet, but it's not necessarily guaranteed.
 
How reliable is this source?
There aren't many credible sources of Nintendo's Japanese branch, but Nikkei's usually got a pretty good track record. In the last few years, they've leaked most 3DS hardware iterations, as well as various other smaller elements. While this news isn't a sure thing yet, since there have been things that did not come true, but I don't know if that was due to inaccurate information or information that simply changed. As things stand I think it's pretty safe to proceed with the assumption that this news is accurate.
 
I can't wait to see which of these routes Nintendo takes:

1. revolutionizes the android landscape by producing full games for full prices (whatever full price here is), no nonsense approach, maintains that Nintendo Seal of quality, polish, fairness and whatnot

2. succumbs to the allure of the mobile conventions and starts making (see: giving licenses) games with microtransactions up the ass and all the other baggage of bullshit that comes along with going mobile. Nintendo franchises + mobile bullshit would be a heartbraking sight.
Option 2 would be the worst thing to ever happen to videogames....


....I'll take option 1, thanks.
 
I know nothing about anything technological so I kind of love threads like these - they're genuinely enlightening.

I'm curious about the Wii U OS talk - could someone explain in relatively layman terms why it's archaic? Is it a 'too obscure to adapt to' thing, or is it a case of being inefficient, or what?
 
Love how some forget that even stuff you use on a daily basis, collects dust. If dust if such a problem that you can't be bothered to clean, then consider investing in a humidifier. You can use your bitter tears on it too. :p


On-topic...
It was kinda expected. They've been talking about bridging gaps between devices and ease of development.
 
I know they aren't saying anything at this e3 but will they really wait another full year to announce this thing? Hopefully they throw their own event and show it off without waiting too long.
 
Yes, their move onto mobile was clearly to solidify their traditional platforms, not a necessity because of the remarkable decline of their fortunes on handhelds and consoles.

Companies typically go one foot forward to go two feet back, right?
Assuming they are using Android as the base for their NX platform, I see Nintendo here taking in the good traits of mobile and fixing the disadvantages that mobile as a gaming platform has, namely the inability to charge more than pittance for games and the lack of quality control. Mobile is much more than just phones. It is stuff like tablets, watches, and set top boxes. By coming at a 'mobile' platform with the mindset, ideas, and legacy of a console maker, Nintendo could actually make NX a premiere gaming platform because they aren't going to let rampant clones and ripoffs on their marketplace and will be able to charge higher prices for their games while having a platform that is about as easy to develop for as making a game for Android would be. NX could be a platform that is as easy to develop for as Android, but with higher quality games than mobile could ever have because the model does not support it.
 
Not sure how NX running on Android will solve Nintendo's 3rd party problem.
From what I think..

Android devs will be able to create and port over their games easier, faster and with less compatibility issue.

scalable as well, which means games can run on home console/handheld much more seamlessly.

Compatible with more game engines
 
i'm confused about the third party argument.. How having an android platform would help big multi titles to be on NX ? If they wanted to go the third party route, the thing they would need is basically a copy of XBO or PS4 architecture/os so they can dev those games on it without effort. (and i'm not even sure that would be enough...)

I'm all for one only handled console that wold replace both 3ds and wiiu, but the android route.. i'm not sure right now how that can benefit them.. I really don't see their game being playable on any android platform that makes no sense. So they won't be using that open patform thing, so.. what's the point..
 
I've completely lost the ability to tell the difference between a genuine lack of knowledge and concern trolling.
It's an internet forum, so when in doubt, assume the latter.

I think that it's possible Iwata meant that they could port the WiiU API to their new system. It's possible in theory, although I don't know if it'll have many advantages beyond backward compatibility. And I'd argue BC is valued a lot higher on GAF compared to the general market.
The succes of PS4 and even xboxOne shows the market doesn't care about BC, they even use the whole remaster thing as a marketing opportunity to re-release games from previous gen (& nintendo is doing the same now to a certain degree with their Wii games on eshop).
I think with Nintendo pushing eShop, the time has never been better for them to keep backwards compatibility a thing, especially if they want to change the physical media used for their games on NX or do away with physical media altogether.

People who buy physical discs can keep their Wii Us without issue, but I think they want to close Wii Shop Channel and the current eShop iteration as soon as they can to roll out whatever they have planned for the future, but the only way to get away with that for eShop buyers is to convert the whole Wii U eShop catalog, which since it's almost entirely 1st-party anyways would be a hell of a lot easier than any other system before it, and they wouldn't have to start the VC catalog from scratch yet again.
 
This news isnt all bad for me, i havent owned a nintendo system since the gamecube but im more tempted with this news.

Make an android game box that supports all those media apps that are allready there and have a handheld that runs the same games and ill buy both.
This isn't news, this is speculation. Big difference.
 
i'm confused about the third party argument.. How having an android platform would help big multi titles to be on NX ? If they wanted to go the third party route, the thing they would need is basically a copy of XBO or PS4 architecture/os so they can dev those games on it without effort. (and i'm not even sure that would be enough...)
When Nintendo talks about 3rd party support, they don't refer to stuff like Witcher, Metal Gear Solid, Elder Scrolls and GTA, they refer to games like Just Dance, Puzzle & Dragons and Clash of Clans.
 
I know nothing about anything technological so I kind of love threads like these - they're genuinely enlightening.

I'm curious about the Wii U OS talk - could someone explain in relatively layman terms why it's archaic? Is it a 'too obscure to adapt to' thing, or is it a case of being inefficient, or what?
I'm most likely wrong but from what I've read
Wii U's OS was created using a really old hardware architecture. The one they've been dragging since GameCube iirc
It seems like they're using a different one for their next gen console meaning they will face some issues porting the OS over if they want it to work flawlessly (if ever)

If I'm wrong please correct the shit out of me lol
 
Im guessing the future will be filled more with these Mario vs DK (tipping stars) style games that use same engine over multi-able platforms, android will be the backbone of that
 
Common sense seems to be the first victim after news like this. Lets clear some stuff up:

First: No hybrid.
Second: It fits with everything Iwata said an mentioned over the course of the last years.
Especially considering his statements about a unified OS (That´s he software, not the hardware. It also has no say in what hardware you use) and how a future Nintendo operating system should be: Like iOS or Android. No surprises here.

But lets have some quotes:

Iwata said:
Last year, an unprecedented thing in the history of the Japanese video game market happened: Five titles for Nintendo 3DS sold more than two million copies each in the latter six-month period of 2014. As this record-breaking incident attests, video game software sales have been progressing smoothly on dedicated video game hardware even after smart devices have become widespread in this country.
...
Of course, the challenge of asking our consumers to purchase dedicated video game hardware has become harder now that smart devices have widely spread. However, we recognize that our business model of producing both video game hardware and software is effective even today, and we do not share this pessimistic view of the future for dedicated video game systems.
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/corporate/release/en/2015/150317/03.html



Iwata said:
Last year we also started a project to integrate the architecture for our future platforms. What we mean by integrating platforms is not integrating handhelds devices and home consoles to make only one machine. What we are aiming at is to integrate the architecture to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform. They will also work to avoid software lineup shortages or software development delays which tend to happen just after the launch of new hardware.
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/130131/05.html


Iwata said:
Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform.

To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples.

Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment. However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future.
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/140130qa/02.html

As you can see, no hybrid. Just the stuff Iwata already mentioned in the past. One OS, shared Software.
Not one form factor to serve them all - the contrary actually. The funny stuff about Nintendo is how they are actually very open and honest about their future plans but being so misunderstood at the same time. Again, this "news" is about the operating system. This has nothing to do with the specs or chips or anything like that.

Bonus quote from 2001:
Iwata said:
Nintendo has strong views on how we should run our company.
We consider ourselfs above all a game based entertainment company.

We believe other people who make videogame systems see themself first
as technology companies.

This is an important distinction.

My take on Nintendo in 2017:

- QoL business: health, education. Whatever. Same shared account. Unique hardware.
- Dedicated consoles and handhelds. Yes both. At least one more time. Iwata said as much in this very year. No hybrid. Shared OS.
- Smart devices. Unique Nintendo software with well known IPs on smart devices. Thats new. Different software than on their own hardware, shared IPs to boost recognition.
- Amusement parks to boost recognition again.
 
I think people need to stop worrying about and talking about Android. NX will not run Android. It will not resemble Android. It will have very little to do with Android outside of share some common APIs and a kernel.

It will instead run on a heavily modified variant of AOSP, which will allow the OS to be compiled on various architectures quickly (AOSP currently supports x86, ARM and MIPS) and share basically all code with style changes for different screen sizes and resolutions.

For developers it means that engines will be able to get support up and running quicker for NX since it'll require less work to change existing Android and/or FireOS compilers to NX compilers than write them from scratch. It'll allow developers to compile once, run everywhere, meaning no separate console/handheld version. It'll allow developers to only have to undergo one round of classification in each region since it'll be NX platform rather than console and handheld.

For end users it likely means nothing. It will probably look like an evolved version of the 3DS/Wii U OS and most people won't even notice that AOSP runs under the hood. After all, how close is the PS4 to BSD and how close is the XBO to Windows (outside of the aesthetic)?

Besides, this can give us fun guessing the SoC for each NX device, since if OHA rules apply to these platforms that means all the common mobile SoC's are off the table ;)
 
I'm curious about the Wii U OS talk - could someone explain in relatively layman terms why it's archaic? Is it a 'too obscure to adapt to' thing, or is it a case of being inefficient, or what?
Afaik:
The WiiU doesn't support real multi tasking (it kind of works for some select system apps by suspending them). But that's not all: the OS is actually completely disabled while a game is running.
So if you want to use the account system (for example on PS3/4 a notice goes up when a friend sends you a game-invite, or comes online) - that's not possible without including your own version of the account system in your game This is the same for all other OS specific functions: if a game wants to use a system function, it needs to include all of it in the game code/disc Partly because of this, you'll see only a few real "apps" for the system, as it's very difficult to build them.

A positive side of this (for nintendo) is that they can use 100% of the hardware, compared to PS or Xbox who have to reserve a %% of their resources for the background OS tasks.
 
When Nintendo talks about 3rd party support, they don't refer to stuff like Witcher, Metal Gear Solid, Elder Scrolls and GTA, they refer to games like Just Dance, Puzzle & Dragons and Clash of Clans.
Mixing their offer with the smartphone offer, in term of software, is the worst they can do in the world.. Will make their own games being seen as less valuable and create competition with really different business models.

It's already super friggin' bad that on 3ds eshop the first thing i see are shovelware here and there.. What about that Iwata speech some years ago about fighting to maintain a certain quality and avoiding the 0,99€ game model..

More than that there is a little war now between smartphone gaming (i'm not saying it's always bad), and "hardcore" gaming, aka expansive experiences. Nintendo should avoid, after the whole Wii image debacle, to be perceived by gamers as not in the second camp anymore.. All this could really blur their image a little more..
 

Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
Its for the best really. Nintendo is too far behind the curve of modern day O/S and devices to feasibly catch up without some huge hiring spends or just letting other companies do the majority of the graft for them to skin on top.

Been talking about these transitions for the company for years so good to see Iwata and co making the right moves these days.
 
Assuming they are using Android as the base for their NX platform, I see Nintendo here taking in the good traits of mobile and fixing the disadvantages that mobile as a gaming platform has, namely the inability to charge more than pittance for games and the lack of quality control. Mobile is much more than just phones. It is stuff like tablets, watches, and set top boxes. By coming at a 'mobile' platform with the mindset, ideas, and legacy of a console maker, Nintendo could actually make NX a premiere gaming platform because they aren't going to let rampant clones and ripoffs on their marketplace and will be able to charge higher prices for their games while having a platform that is about as easy to develop for as making a game for Android would be. NX could be a platform that is as easy to develop for as Android, but with higher quality games than mobile could ever have because the model does not support it.
Nintendo is already balls deep in mobile game design with F2P and timers. Wii U Eshop is already an open marketplace where quality control is non-existent. Those, btw are not bad things. Why would they design a system around regressing?

Also those mid-tier mobile games do exist, even if they're not the most popular, and iOS and Android will definitely remain the more relevant platform along with PC for those titles. An order of magnitude smaller userbase that Nintendo might be able to muster up isn't going to be appealing just like the eShop isn't at the moment.

I feel like we went from everyone saying how terrible going mobile would be - how Nintendo would never do that, would never promote F2P or wait timers - to oh well Nintendo is doing all that but you know, not really.

The main pillar of Nintendo is no longer going to be their own hardware going forward, I look forward to the day that recognition kicks in.
 
This has probably been brought up but where does this leave iOS support? Ifnthey go this route are their mobile games likely to be Android exclusive?
It's fair to assume their mobile development APIs are already cross-platform between Android and iOS. This has to do with the underlying technology of their future hardware.
 
I think people need to stop worrying about and talking about Android. NX will not run Android. It will not resemble Android. It will have very little to do with Android outside of share some common APIs and a kernel.

It will instead run on a heavily modified variant of AOSP, which will allow the OS to be compiled on various architectures quickly (AOSP currently supports x86, ARM and MIPS) and share basically all code with style changes for different screen sizes and resolutions.

For developers it means that engines will be able to get support up and running quicker for NX since it'll require less work to change existing Android and/or FireOS compilers to NX compilers than write them from scratch. It'll allow developers to compile once, run everywhere, meaning no separate console/handheld version. It'll allow developers to only have to undergo one round of classification in each region since it'll be NX platform rather than console and handheld.

For end users it likely means nothing. It will probably look like an evolved version of the 3DS/Wii U OS and most people won't even notice that AOSP runs under the hood. After all, how close is the PS4 to BSD and how close is the XBO to Windows (outside of the aesthetic)?

Besides, this can give us fun guessing the SoC for each NX device, since if OHA rules apply to these platforms that means all the common mobile SoC's are off the table ;)
So what you're saying is that it will not run Android but instead will run Android Open Source Project?

Ok, buddy!
 
i'm confused about the third party argument.. How having an android platform would help big multi titles to be on NX ? If they wanted to go the third party route, the thing they would need is basically a copy of XBO or PS4 architecture/os so they can dev those games on it without effort. (and i'm not even sure that would be enough...)

I'm all for one only handled console that wold replace both 3ds and wiiu, but the android route.. i'm not sure right now how that can benefit them.. I really don't see their game being playable on any android platform that makes no sense. So they won't be using that open patform thing, so.. what's the point..
It remove lots of barriers for devs to bring their games over to the NX.
 
Well I'd rather this than Nintendo coming out yet again with their own unique assortment of underpowered hardware that no one else can be arsed trying to make games for.

Hopefully it means they'll pick a future mobile chip with impressive specs and build it around that. Would help in their journey to get proper Nintendo games on mobile and easily make them compatible back to Nintendo's own console. It should also hopefully make it easier for Nintendo to get media compatible apps on there, all the Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer and so on without any hassles. Any decent app that works on Android should be allowed to run... yeah?