In a possibly drastic measure to win back game developers, Nintendo will reportedly turn to Android for its upcoming “NX” gaming platform.
Citing an unnamed source, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports that the Nintendo's next-generation console will be based on Android. This would give game developers the flexibility to make write for Nintendo's platform while also targeting phones and tablets.
UPDATE: Nintendo has shot down the Nikkei story in a statement to the Wall Street Journal: "There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX," the company said.
The report (and a rough English summary at NeoGAF) leaves plenty of questions unanswered. We don't know whether is Nintendo adopting Android TV, or building an open-source fork akin to Amazon's Fire TV . It's also unclear how Nintendo will maintain its historically tight control over both hardware and software when it's reliant on existing Android development and Google's source code.
Officially, Nintendo has confirmed the existence of NX as a dedicated gaming system, but hasn't revealed any specifics. The company has said, however, that NX is not directly related to the five mobile games that Nintendo is producing over the next few years with Japanese developer DeNA. While those mobile games should bring in revenue on their own, Nintendo also hopes they'll drive sales of dedicated consoles.
Why this matters: Nintendo has been clear about its ambitions to unify its gaming services across consoles, handheld gaming systems, phones, and tablets. That alone is a big change for the company, which is just now returning to profitability after a few years of annual losses. As crazy as an Android-based system seems, it's hard to rule out anything at this point.