Over the past year, Nintendo has pushed forward a number of radical changes to its business strategies. The company, which has previously held a fairly traditional plan of action for its video game consoles, has leaped boundaries by developing the Amiibo gaming peripheral range. The Skylanders-a-like has gone on to become a tremendous commercial success, although there has been plenty of criticism over severe shortages of certain models.
The Amiibo range is not the most dramatic change from Nintendo’s business practices however, as the gaming giant has taken a severe departure from the norm in terms of IP licensing. This year, Nintendo revealed that it would be working in conjunction with developer DeNA to bring a number of its largest franchises into the mobile gaming sphere. With five mobile games expected to hit the market by March 2017, some have wondered what this means for traditional console gaming – and how it will relate to its upcoming console, codenamed the NX.
The NX itself was revealed in March of this year, with Nintendo stating that the console would be a “dedicated game platform” with a radical new concept and ideas. Many have speculated what this new concept would be, but recent reports suggest that the console may have further ties to the flexibility of mobile gaming. According to Nikkei, a Japanese business source, the NX console will apparently run using an Android-based operating system.
The Nikkei report, which can only be accessed by account holders, claims that an insider source at Nintendo has revealed that the NX will have Android roots. This move is apparently an attempt to make the NX console a more flexible piece of hardware for developers to work with. What’s more, it’s suggested that the console’s software will then also hold more compatibility with smartphones and tablets.
If the report is correct, it shows a shocking departure from Nintendo’s previous hardware design. However, it could be a response to the poor reaction to the Wii U from third party developers. Nintendo’s console has had notorious struggles with outside development over the course of its lifespan, and matters seem to become even worse of late. Recently, Slightly Mad Studios has revealed its difficulty developing Project Cars for the console, whilst it’s looking likely that FIFA 16 will be the first FIFA game in over a decade to not have a Nintendo console release.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has previously stated that the NX would be a console with “a brand-new concept,” and an Android-based operating system could certainly be a step away from the norm. It may well be that Nintendo fans will be on the receiving end of an entirely new era of Nintendo design. Nintendo itself has yet to reveal finite details on its new system, but it will be interesting to see where the NX ties in to the company’s larger expansive development plan, and whether it works in conjunction with the upcoming mobile releases.