There are a heck of a lot of rumors swirling around about Nintendo and the upcoming Nintendo NX, their new device that no one knows anything about. The speculation has run high that the device may be some sort of mobile hybrid running on Google's Android OS, but Nintendo recently spoke up to shutdown the rumor.
The Wall Street Journal recently reached out to Nintendo to clarify some claims that the upcoming device currently codenamed the “Nintendo NX” will support a Google-based mobile OS. According to a Nintendo spokesperson they stated that “There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX,”
That squashes that rumor.
According to the Wall Street Journal there was a report in the Japanese Business Daily that Nintendo was eying the Google OS for the upcoming platform to make it more suitable for open-source development and lure in a lot of different developers to the table.
Even as a rumor this sounds like a complete opposite business decision from Nintendo's typical modus operandi. Nintendo's most “open” console would probably be the Wii, and that attracted all manner of developers and publishers to the table because of how widespread it sold and the kind of deep market penetration Nintendo managed to achieve beyond the hardcore audience and into the casual crowd.
However, the Wii still had an unorthodox control scheme in the Wii-mote and nunchuck combination, which proved to be difficult for some developers to adapt to since it didn't feature the standardized controller layout found on Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers.
Wii U tablets featured touchscreen controls that the Japanese Business Daily report stated worked as a turnoff for some developers. However, this makes very little sense given that if the Wii U is already using a touchscreen it would seem like it would attract more developers from the mobile market compared to the Wii, which used the motion-control accessories.
The rumors about the Nintendo NX have been running rampant since Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata mentioned the device and some gamers have been hoping for more info. However, Iwata made it known that there will be no new news about the Nintendo NX at this year's E3, much to the disappointment of the gaming community.
The company plans on rolling out details on the device in 2016. Having Nintendo stomp out the rumor about the device running on an Android OS also helps move the needle away from the rumors that the Nintendo NX may end up being solely a mobile-centric gaming device. It's still possible it might be, but knowing Nintendo they'll stick to their own operating software and their own hardware designs that have helped elevate and evolve the way gamers interact with interactive entertainment.
As it stands, there's really no telling what the Big 'N' has planned. The Nintendo NX could be a game console, it could be a handheld device or it could be a phone for as much as we know. At least now we know it won't be running on a Google-centric OS.