Update: Nintendo has denied these rumours with Wired magazine. So no, NX will not run off an Android operating system. The Nintendo spokesperson had this to say (Read it here in full).
[quote]There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX[/quote]
Original: Nikkei, a well-known source for Japanese business news, has reported that Nintendo’s new console will host an Android operating system. What does this mean for Nintendo? For the first time, should this be the truth, the next Nintendo console (codenamed NX) will not include an operating system that’s been designed from the ground up within Nintendo’s headquarters. It also points to something bigger.
With their recent announcement that they partnered with DeNA, to bring Nintendo games to mobile platforms, it’s looking like a bigger plan to combine console and mobile. Also, having lost so many third-party developers on Wii U it’s rumoured that Nintendo wanted a console that’s easy to develop for, hence the Android direction.
Here’s exactly what the NeoGaf user, duckroll, translated the news to (as you need to have an account to read everything in that Nikkei report):
[quote]The Nikkei put up an editorial earlier today about Nintendo’s partnership with DeNA. It’s a pretty long article (and you need an account to read most of it, so unless you sign up that link is kinda useless), but most of it is about historical connections and basically an overview on the relationship.
The interesting part is that the article starts by discussing Nintendo’s next platform – the one Iwata codenamed NX. They have an insider source who claims that the OS for the platform will be Android based, and that it is a paradigm shift for Nintendo business-wise. The source goes on to say that when third parties abandoned Nintendo’s WiiU one by one, it caused turning point in the company. So while they have had a philosophy of developing their own software and hardware concepts internally for all these years, they are now prepared to embrace a more open platform with Android, to allow developers more flexibility in making content that can also be on smartphones and tablets.[/quote]
We’ll wait for the official word from Nintendo to see where this goes, but if it’s the truth then it’s a bold move for a company that’s always kept all its cards close to its chest all these years.