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NX thread #4: What would you think of an Android operating system? [roundtable]
 
It seems like a longshot to me, considering that Nintendo would be kind of entrusting their hardware future to Google, but I think it would have quite a few advantages.

Sure, there have been set-top devices that play Android games, and they haven't exactly lit the world on fire. But this would be different: An actual flagship home console with home console games, with Android support as a side-feature/trojan horse. So users could play a full suite of Nintendo games, as well as any notable mobile games, portably and at home. Heck, maybe even some third-party stuff! Seems like a win for the children's market at the very least. A version of Minecraft on day one, access to the handful of critically acclaimed exclusive mobile software, board games ports, ... other... mobile stuff... Just having the OS would basically guarantee infinite third-party support, regardless of what happens to the shriveling AAA market. Heck, the NX could even serve as a stable target hardware configuration for ultra-high-spec mobile games.

There are also downsides, of course. The Android OS would cost money, is easily broken, and is not necessarily compatible with the engines that most third-party games run on, and the software releases from both sides of the fence could step on each other's toes. Particularly in terms of pricing and different versions. So maybe Nintendo would have to create a more secure variant, get engine support, and curate the app store?

I dunno. What would you guys think about this? Like I said, it's a huge longshot, since Nintendo's not traditionally a fan of giving up control (in terms of hardware, software, engines, OS, etc.), but it's not like Nintendo's OSeseses are what make their games fun. I think the positives could outweigh the negatives. Provided that Nintendo could stop people from hacking the shit out of it or pirating their newest games on a tablet.

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10/25/15, 18:56   Edit:  10/25/15, 19:07
 
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even crazier idea...
mobile part of NX dual boots console OS and Android OS...
10/25/15, 19:00
The good thing would be their connectivity and communication issues would seem to be solved. But it would be a big departure from Nintendo's focus on combating piracy to go with an OS that would be much more easily hacked
10/25/15, 19:33
@Wellsy529
An interesting idea, but it seems like it would more work, rather than less.

@Jargon
Hmm, I was thinking about that, but does Android really have such great Connectivity/Networking features? Doesn't everyone pretty much use their own interface/code/etc., like on a Nintendo system?
10/25/15, 20:12
@Anand

I mean Android at least has built in messaging, right?
10/25/15, 20:17
@Jargon
I... don't know. You mean through the Gmail account? I never sign in with my main account.
10/25/15, 20:38
Android simply does not support many things necessary to a lot of studios to easily create and publish their games in any effective way. It would cause stability issues, be tied to Google's whims and/or abilities, and would disallow Nintendo from having as much control over their systems.
10/25/15, 20:48
Well the PS4 runs on Linux, but you'd never know it. So as long as NX is good I don't really care what the underlying OS is.

The Nvdia Shield runs on Android doesn't it? And that's supposed to be a really nice/fast interface.
10/26/15, 01:25
I still kinda wish that Nintendo had partnered with Valve and used some version of Steam for their online stuff at least. I don't know how that would translate to a full OS though.
10/26/15, 01:38
Oh my gosh I hope not. The mere THOUGHT of the unending flood of shovelware makes me want to vomit. Please no. I'll take droughts well before I take the current deluge of Android "games" showing up on a Nintendo home console.
10/26/15, 04:06
@J.K. Riki

Is it really that hard to ignore shovelware? I mean NES, Wii, DS all had Jurassic Park-esque mountains of crap but the existence of that stuff didn't have any effect on me whatever.
10/26/15, 04:09
@Jargon

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Finding great games on my Galaxy Note is a living nightmare because of the sheer magnitude of garbage that exists.

HECK, the 3DS is the same way! I browse the eShop and get bored just sifting through the total and complete crap!
10/26/15, 04:20
@J.K. Riki

That's why I inform myself about the games I want before I go to the eShop (or Steam or whatever). Then I just go straight for those games.
10/26/15, 04:27
@Jargon

Which is probably the wise move. :)

I guess I just enjoy browsing, myself. It's part of the experience to me, like the olden days of my youth going to Babbages and just wandering through the overflowing shelves of games looking for interesting things.

Then, also, I look at it from the developer perspective. My wife and I are working on a game for Android, and it is likely that all of four people will ever play it, because of nothing more than the slew of sludge gunking up the system. It's so hard to just stumble on great stuff (which hopefully the game will be, we'll see) because of the quantity. In fact, it reminds me of that old Nintendo slogan "Quality over quantity." I really do firmly believe in that.
10/26/15, 05:09
I don't care what it is as long as it's a good OS.

With Android though I could feel comfortable they'd be getting much better support in terms of functionality and possibly games.

I wouldn't really mind it.
10/26/15, 07:38
I'd be okay with the idea...Android's OS is interesting, and a lot of devices run it and you wouldn't know it. Amazon's Fire devices, the NVidia Shield, the old Nooks from B&N, and a lot of phones run their custom skins on it.
10/26/15, 15:15
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