Could Nintendo’s NX be Android?

EDIT: Since this Article was published, a Nintendo Representative made a statement about the Rumour, and has effectively stated that Nintendo will not be using Android for NX. My original article did comment that the news was unconfirmed,  was generally still considered a rumour. I have left the Original Article unedited. 

With recent news/rumour about Nintendo’s NX Console system that could be using Android Operating system. So before you complain about Angry Birds being put on a Nintendo Console. It has been done already.. No, really it has, with a themed version for both 3DS and Wii U. But I think we need to cover what an OS is. According to Oxford Dictionary:

The low-level software that supports a computer’s basic functions, such as scheduling tasks and controlling peripherals.

Well known examples are Android, iOS, Window, OSX and Linux. To be technical, most Modern consoles have their own Operating system. With the Complexity of most gaming and PC hardware the OS is needed to do anything.

“Can Nintendo use Android?”

Yes, they can use it. A large amount of the Android OS is actually Open Source, which means that Nintendo can use it to built software side of their operating system within certain limits, which is detailed in the Android licence.

Nintendo can add their own components to the OS and not allow these components to be open source, subsequently locking the software to their hardware. This is already being done with many cell phones.

This isn’t the first Gaming “OS” to be used in such a way, Valve is currently working on a version of Linux called Steam OS. Unlike Nintendo, Valve doesn’t deal with hardware, and letting customers make their own Steam OS pc. Valve makes their profits via software sales.

“What about real buttons? Text input and Games on the Android and iPhone use onscreen buttons.”

Actually, the G1, also known as the HTC Dream, the first Android Retail Smart phone, it had a QWERTY Keyboard that slid out from under the screen. A few other Android Models following this also had physical keyboards. While later smartphones dropped the built in Keyboard, they didn’t drop the support for keyboards. Bluetooth Keyboards and controllers are supported by both Android systems and Apple’s iOS systems. Actually, quite a few tablet cases have a Bluetooth keyboard built in. Almost all Text input boxes on apps will respond to the bluetooth keyboard commands, as Text input is handled by the OS, not the app.

Motorola DEXT with Keyboard Extended. Bluetooth keyboard, Nexus Tablet and a Nyko Bluetooth Controller.
Motorola DEXT with keyboard extended. Bluetooth keyboard, Nexus Tablet and a Nyko Bluetooth Controller.

Today, most games on Android systems just aren’t configured to take commands from a Controller or even a keyboard. Some Games, such as Candy Crush are built to use the touch screen exclusively, some others do indeed use onscreen buttons where they should have supported a controller.

Nintendo has made touch screen only games for both the 3DS and Wii U, with Pokémon Shuffle, and Mario & Donkey Kong Tipping Stars being examples.

“If Nintendo are using Android, it’s going to be a portable system, then?”

No, I’d not lean say it is an certainty for being a Portable System. While Android usually uses mobile processors such as ARM, Android can be made to run on an x86 processors directly. The x86 Processor line is the one that most PCs use and the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 use. So the OS being compatible with a lot things doesn’t actually tell us that the hardware is going to be portable system or not.

There is actually an Android console already on the Market. The Ouya, which appears to be a not selling well.

Nintendo deliberately made sure that the Wii and Wii U did not use much power at all. Android being a Mobile OS requires it run in low power situations.

Android being an Smart Phone OS supports touch screens and both Nintendo’s current Handheld and Home Console systems use them.

I still can’t really decide if which it it’s going to be home console or Handheld device. Android would seem flexible and could be nice fit for both situations.

There is a talk between fans of a Hybrid device that could be used as both a Home console and a Hand held.

“What about the games?”

Well, Android is a currently a well known system that current game developers could easily make Modifications to their games needed to work on Nintendo’s NX system.

Quite a few Developers of the current Humble Nindie Bundle already have their games on Android. I’d don’t see the indies loosing out. For the demanding Games, that’s up to what Nintendo has planned for the NX, But I’m sure that Android OS can cope with it, and with Android’s close association with Linux and the PC, games could be easily made ported to the NX.

Previously, Nintendo has made their games work well on their systems. But this may be new ground, but this could help bring in the much needed large 3rd Party Developers support that Nintendo needs financially.

Personally, I’ve written this article based on an anonymous tip to a well known News site: Nikkei, which wouldn’t dare run this type of news unless the tip was trusted source. But then, I’ve written article on stuff like this on lesser trusted sources.

Game Preview: Splatoon

All footage and experiences of this Preview has come from Demo and Press outlets. The Demo was time limited to three separate 1-hour long play sessions over Friday 8th May and Saturday 9th May. As this Demo version is limited please do not use this as a review.

This is a First, a Nintendo-built over the shoulder shooter, that isn’t a demo or minigame. In the past, Rare Studios (Goldeneye & Perfect Dark) and Retro Studios (Metroid Prime trilogy) have made shooters for Nintendo in the past. This is the first that an internal Nintendo team has made a shooter as the primary focus of the game.

This game is very cartoony as they use ink instead of Bullets. As for Weapons use Super Soakers and Ink Rollers instead of guns and swords. Out of all the announced Multi-player modes as of yet, Splatoon does not include a “DeathMatch” Mode that most other Shooter games have.

You play as an Inkling, or humanoid-squid thing. In Squid form you can move around alot and refill your ink, while in Humanoid mode you can shoot with the Super Soaker or use the Ink Roller. Your Inkling has access an ink consuming Sub Weapon, usually a mine or a Paint Bomb of sorts, and also a Super Weapon that must be charged by using the other weapons.

Continue reading Game Preview: Splatoon

Small News update

Samantha’s Story, while I like doing it, just got in the way of other stuff. My Tech (and gaming) Articles also had issues. I was also trying to work on Soju 1. Doing these with other commitments was too much. In short, I just had too much on my plate.

Samantha story will continue at closer later date. I know where they’re going. One reason I was working on it was to flesh out a few characters in Soju 1. Samantha will appear along with her sister and a few other people. The 3D art as shown in Part 2‘s header is actually going to help Soju 1’s cover, at least for the early releases.

One thing that hurt my Tech and Gaming Articles was trying to make a useful post on a current post. The issue is that the other commitments just stopped research and work on it at all.

As for Soju 1.. I started 12 years ago, and it looked totally different:

Edited screen shot RPG Maker 2003 editor view of Soju 1 game.
Edited screen shot RPG Maker 2003 editor view of Soju 1 game.

Sadly, this isn’t what it suppose to look like. But it’s the nearest I can get with what files I’ve got left. All the assets you see Pre-built are taken from the Editor’s offering. But Yes, this is not a Novel, but a RPG. So Who’s here? Acaica, Timon, Niu, a Bar keep, a pianist, and icon for the player. In this case the player would have been Trey. Actually, all the character names are where changed between this version and the first draft of the Novel.

With the exception of Acacia, all the characters that have appeared in Samatha’s Story did not appear in the game, as I had not thought of any of them in 2003. I’ve mentioned Acacia in the past, mainly she is the main character of Soju 1.

The date of April 30th 2003 as the starting of Soju Masters series, is actually down to the fact that I made a back up on to CD in early May 2003, and most of the files that I had a date of April 30th. As I was about format the PC the CD backup was the only data I recovered. The format was also the reason why I stopped not much further in to the game development.

I would have liked to have release the two maps even in it’s original form. Due to damage to the CD several major files are now lost, and renders the entire game unplayable. Even if it was playable, I personally wouldn’t be happy about it today: The software, RPG Maker 2003, I made the game with was only released in English for the first time this year, and I’m not keep on promoting Piracy.

Anyway back to that re-write of Soju1.

Samantha’s Story 2

Continued from this post.

Samantha had cleared up her the training yard. As expected, several Arrows had been damaged and would need to be repaired before she could use them again. The ones that couldn’t be repaired, would be used as fire wood.

She slipped the bow around her, it was not as painful as it looked to others. It also kept her hands free to do what she needed. The local guards didn’t like people carrying swords unsheathed, or a strung bow in the hands. As a member of mercenary group forming in the city, she could be asked to assist the local guards usually during emergency cases. She carried her damaged arrows in her hands to make sure she didn’t pull a broken arrow out of her quiver in a serious situation.

The walk back to her home was quiet. Vivian was right, the heat was too much for most people. Most people who didn’t have a job to do, were trying to stay in the shade. She stopped to look at dresses in the tailor shop window, one of the new dresses sported a floral pattern. Samantha liked the look of the dress, but the pattern didn’t fit her. Given the cost to make, Samantha guessed it already had a owner. After a moment staring at the new dresses, she continued on. Even if Samantha could afford the a dress, she had no money on her.

Outside her home, a woman wearing man’s suit, and a mask standing by her door. Only one person in she knew dress like that, Shinora. Shinora was the nearest this city got to Mayor’s Assistant. There was no Mayor, but she worked for the man in charge of the city. She turned to Samantha as she approached, “Hey Sammy. Have you see Laliea Carla?”

Samantha sighed, Laliea was living in the same building as Samantha. Laliea had a habit of annoying local residents. Hoping that Shinora would leave her alone, Samantha said, “Not since breakfast. I’ve been in the training yard since then.”

Shirona lent over and sniffed, “I believe you. It smells like you’ve worked out hard. Did Vivian see you earlier?”

“Yes, I got an invite and a key to the changing room at the baths. I’m just here dropping off my gear,” Samantha said as she opened the door her home.

The Door lead to the dining room, and the nearest the building to a living room. It was huge for group of 4 people, it would however cater least 20 people. It was less of a home, it was barracks. The building in question had been built with it’s own training yard.

The training yard had been destroyed, as a single large crystal had grown in the spot for many years. It was not uncommon to see areas in this city to be completely turned in to crystals. The story was that about 1000 years before, in the incident that sealed magic away that this city got turned to crystals. There was a huge Crystal floating above one the squares that could be seen from her old home in Lufas. That was the short version that Shinora gave Samantha on the day she got to the city.

The only table set up looked like it seen better days. Samatha could still see breakfast still out. It was already in the afternoon and she had skipped lunch.

Shinora stepped up in and looked at the room, “What has Laliea been doing?”

A loud moan came from upstairs. Samantha covered her face in desperate attempt to hide.

Shinora seemed to pickup on Samantha’s embarrassment, “Ok, that good enough explanation for me. So Sammy, why don’t you show me what you’ll be wearing for your date tonight?”

“Date? I thought that I was going to have a meal with Lady Acacia,” Samatha objected.

“Well whatever, I think you need to look the best you can be,” Shinora smiled.

“Don’t you have something else to do?” Samantha asked, as she worked as she unstrung her bow.

“I am here to speak to Laliea. She needs a job to stay here. With the exception of Zinnia, almost everyone in this town is employed in some fashion,” Shinora explained.

Zinnia was a new name that Samantha hadn’t heard, “Zinnia is Megumi’s baby, right?”

Shinora smiled, “Yeah, she is. At 2 months old, all she can do is look cute. With Laliea, I do have a job opening for her. I’ll wait until she comes out of the room. No harm if down the hall. So shall we see what you’ll be wearing?”

“Fine, follow me,” Samantha relented, as she climbed the stairs to her room.

NEW 3DS Hardware Review

The NEW 3DS Hardware released by Nintendo is the updated version of the 3DS handheld. I recently purchased European version of the NEW 3DS, after becoming eligible for an early release copy. To comply with the rules: This blog post is not a paid promotion, and the NEW 3DS hardware received was not paid for by Nintendo or another third party.

The New 3DS opened up
The New 3DS opened up

For this article, I will cover the changes from the original 3DS. For the Majority of this Article the improvements introduced to the NEW 3DS, also added to the NEW 3DS XL. I will note when there are exclusive components. Continue reading NEW 3DS Hardware Review

In the words of the Fab 4: "PaperBack Writer..!"