Nintendo's next console to be an Android games machine?

Nintendo's next console to be an Android games machine?
Is gaming empire Nintendo about to become the next big huge thing in the Android realm? Let's put it this way - Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U, is a sales fiasco that exposed a company struggling to adapt to the modern games market. The console is too underpowered to play the same games that competing platforms have. Its unique gamepad failed to drive customer interest. The "casual player" audience, which made the original Wii a historical bestseller at more than 100 million units sold, has migrated to the abundance of casual games available in the App Store and Google Play. 

All Nintendo has is the strength of its long-running franchises - Mario, Zelda, Xenoblade, Donkey Kong and the like, which was enough to drive 10 million Wii U sales among a devoted audience in the span of two years. But the competition is way ahead in sales numbers — the PS4, for example, broke 10 million in just 9 months — so Nintendo clearly needs to let go of its business traditions and embrace mobile platforms, if it doesn't want to challenge Sony and Microsoft head-on.

Well, then! Word on the street is that the company's next console, the NX, will be an Android-powered device. This means ARM-based hardware, such as the gadgetry found in the powerful Nvidia Shield console/TV box, as well as a platform familiar to developers from all kinds of places. According to the original report by Japan's Nikkei business newspaper, third-party developers stepped in to encourage Nintendo to adopt Android as an open platform where content can be easily created.

The prospect of a Nintendo micro-console or gaming tablet probably doesn't sound supremely exciting for anyone but the casual gamer or Nintendo franchise lover, especially since the Ouya, which was the first notable product to introduce the concept of Android TV consoles, tanked so badly. However, this was rather due to its shortcomings as a product, such as an extremely unpolished operating system and hardware that quickly grew outdated.

We reckon Nintendo will have to think of a quality games service or a heavyweight library of original games to pull through with this one, as the truth is that any ol' Android stick with a paired Bluetooth controller is good for playing Clash Of Titans on TV these days. Nvidia, for example, has an enticing offering in the form of the GRID games streaming service, which could potentially let gamers play high-quality PC titles without investing in an expensive gaming rig.

via Hardcore Gamer

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50 Comments

1. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

So it'll be even more casualized. Instead of going after clash of clans, they should be going after Xbox, playstation, and PC games. They are just killing their hardcore audience. If this is true, the Wii U will probably be the last console I will ever own of theirs.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5554; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The Wii U is already heavy casualized Even the Wii was also heavy casualized and it sold the most out of the seventh gen consoles IMO its not a problem for Nintendo, since no one bought a Wii or Wii U for its graphics If their Android console has good first party exculsives, people will buy it IMO

6. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

My thing about it is they are stupid. They made a casual console with the WII, and it worked. They did it again, and it tanked. Are you really going to do it again? They just got really lucky with the Wii. All the people that had a Wii went mobile though, so stop trying to chase that market. Make a console that compares to the other two, and appeal to hardcore gamers. Get some sort of third party games. Right now the Wii u is only good as a secondary console, with how little games it has. I still wonder if I should get one, even with Zelda coming out for it.

10. NopeNein

Posts: 147; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

IMO, gaming is for fun, the media might change, but the core experience must stay the same, good graphics or not, casual, or "hardcore" you might say "go play mario, or.. hell, even Pong" yes i still do that, so what? games are games. no no, im not nintendo fans by any means, i never owned nintendo consoles before (it's either sega, sony and pc), but my points still remains, yes i might sound very preachy about this, but people like you are the reason(s) i left gaming world, "hardcore" gamers, you're no different than those sad weeaboos for me. for me, because of you guys, gaming seems..less and lesser fun every year. well, that's just my honest opinion my young padawan. you might not like it. but that's me. and a lot of people might call me hipster for this (not sure why), but there you go.

12. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

This guy never played borderlands if he things gaming isn't fun.

16. NopeNein

Posts: 147; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

i did not say it isnt fun, its just...getting boring really fast. (maybe its just me, as i said, its just my opinion) its like living an immortal life, in the end it's just plain boring and everything doesnt matter anyway.. but think aaaalll the woman you can f**k, the man you can kill, the world you can conquer. and aaalll teh catz. and internetz. and stuff.

18. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Wow, new record for a comment. It was elitist against hardcore gamers and weaboos (not sure why weaboos, but anyway). You were also completely ignorant on the topic, as you have never even owned a Nintendo console. All of this while maintaining the grammar of a five year old. Impressive.

3. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

Nintendo's targeted audience isn't the same as Sony's and Microsoft. Nintendo is sitting on nothing but money so I guess this should be a good time to experiment. Let's see where this goes..

28. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Game development costs are going up and up. Making a niche product is not very profitable anymore. Most of Nintendo's Wii U titles are selling poorly (they have some that are doing well of course, but most are not) and if not for the 3DS the company would still be bleeding money. If they do go the android route, $60 games won't fly, they better be prepared to charge a much smaller rate if they are going towards making lower cost games like this.

4. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

This is bad news, really bad. Nintendo is gonna die with this, why not improve themselves and compete with Sony and Microsoft in the gaming industry? They just need to make their consoles support the latest games for the next few years. Encourage more developers to release games for their console.

13. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I think they're gonna go several ways to be honest. I think they'll have a traditional gaming console to support their big time players (Metroid, Mario, Smash, Star Fox, etc.) and then a tablet console for more casual games (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, android games, classic console games) I could be wrong but I think they'll basically shortly kill off the 3DS into a niche console and replace it with a high powered tablet. Going all in to the mobile spectrum is risky as well, they'd be competing with spec hounds like Samsung.

45. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

"Nintendo is gonna die..." lol. no.

50. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Youre right

5. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Well i don't bother to read this but if it supposed to be a NVIDIA shield sibling then i can't say that i prefer it over NVIDIA tablet since it proves to be powerful enough.

7. LoveThatPhone

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 30, 2014

The graphics needed to be up to sony and microsofts standards, kept building on top of their heritage

8. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I have two thoughts : 1)Wii made a lot of success because it was a novel way to play a game without sitting down on a chair. If they want success I think they should came up with a similar principle to the old Wii, not going to make a specific Android console. 2) If they can't make something like the old Wii then maybe, they should make a console that you can play android games with it ( like BlackBerry, or Windows 10) and also games for higher 3D graphics games.

14. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I think 2 may be where they're going. I think it will be more comparable to Amazon's OS myself, with basically an Android base and a Nintendo App store, Nintendo App store will then house the ability to add Zelda, Mario, etc. and then have a true Nintendo console running on a separate OS you can switch between. I love Nintendo games, they've just came up short on the consoles the last 2 generations IMO. Not that I think the One or PS4 is amazing. I have a one and it gets about as much playing time as my Wii U.

9. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

So a console if they go the Shield way for 200$ that will have ps3/360 graphics? To match the others they will still need to be betting on more powerful hardware. And imagine the game companies wanting to build windows 10 games (two platforms one stone with cross device place for xbox/pc) then the PS4...and then switch to a 'java' platform.

11. NexusX

Posts: 610; Member since: May 16, 2013

this is good news for developers, more unified game development, wider reach of audience to both casual and mario/zelda fans for nintendo. mobile processing and cloud computing is so powerful these days gaming should be focused on exprience and not be limited to graphics on dedicated consoles. hardcore gamers play on pc anyway, since pc has high-end market, PS4/XBOX has mid-range, why compete for mid-range with the big guys when nintendo can carve out their own niche that can bridge mid-range to casual? of course, people are going to pirate the shiit out of zelda/mario games

33. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

So you just made the case for every apple fan boy to laugh when ever anyone on the android camp who touts their high end phones with superior specs. So tell us android fans, do specs matter or not?

41. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Money matters more! Every things else is secondary. Nintendo making an Android device now is 5 years too late. They should have done a Nintendo mobile phone in 2010. Best way to turn around is to bring their 9th gen console this year end. Better than both Xbox One and PS4 spec.

43. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Absolutely money matters most. Problem is they do not have an OS that can compete, imo, and going android wouldn't suddenly flock AAA titles that are already spending millions to cater to a billion device market, when 70-90% of android devices will never see the light of day for anything heavy related in gaming. What they need is a x86 200$ laptop type of parts, with accessories galore like they already have.

42. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

So weak spec is generally well known for the 8th gen consoles, PS4 and Xbox One CPU power is equivalent to intel bay trail imagine that; "If you’re looking for a tangible comparison, CPUs based on the Jaguar core are roughly comparable to Intel’s Bay Trail Atom." http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/156273-xbox-720-vs-ps4-vs-pc-how-the-hardware-specs-compare http://www.pcper.com/news/General-Tech/Sony-PS4-and-Microsoft-Xbox-One-Already-Hitting-Performance-Wall So I already determine to skip 8th gen console.

44. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

"We are bound from the CPU because of AI. Around 50% of the CPU is used for the pre-packaged rendering parts.." Ubisoft vs another "Another key benefit of this set up is that Titanfall is able to do all its AI calculations on the server rather than on your console." Azure extends the xbox one beyond its cpu/gpu limitations. Technically if I could remember the article, it was stated it would have needed a 12core cpu for titanfall to run fully locally on the machine. Now the two games are different, I wouldn't consider their word as gold. Consoles are ALWAYS stuck in the year they are made, nothing new. The same was said about the 360, yet it brought forth halo 4 on 512MB of ram.

46. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Good points, if the computation is done on the cloud than they should keep the price low for the consumer not the other way around. I can't be paying a high price for a weak CPU/GPU period.

15. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Dumbest move ever if N goes this route. Any android gaming is underpowered even shield compared to real consoles and blow that up to a TV and it will look terrible. I see this as being the end of N as we know them. The Wii u failed because N didn't invest in the latest processors or gpu and developers didn't want to split development cost to make a separate version of their games. N has had a long history of not working with developers and their repeat games that have not changed generation after generation

20. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

The Wii U processor is literally an upgraded Wii chip, which was an upgraded Gamecube chip. They are basically using a processor from the early 2000s.

17. gaming64 unregistered

Android is the worst gaming port I have ever experienced. Hope Vulcan can change that. In the meantime, I'll stick with iOS's superior gaming experience.

19. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Inferior to iOS but definitely not the worst.

25. gaming64 unregistered

I never said it as the worst but my experience with it was pretty bad. There are a lot of exclusives on the app store that are so much fun and unique(Infinity Blade, Vainglory. mirrors Edge) that made me prefer iOS as my mobile gaming platform.

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