Nintendo Wanted Cyanogen's Android On Switch, Was Refused

Nintendo wanted to put Android on the Switch gaming console and approached Cyanogen Inc with the idea but was refused, according to the company's Executive Chairman Kirt McMaster. In a series of tweets published on Tuesday, McMaster revealed that Nintendo approached the firm while he was still serving as its Chief Executive Officer and inquired about the possibility of Cyanogen making an operating system "for a certain portable." While he initially didn't mention Android or Switch by name, he did say the encounter happened in the "early days of Cyanogen," meaning the 3DS — Nintendo's pre-Switch portable console — was already either developed or on the market, so the Japanese entertainment company was almost certainly inquiring about putting a custom version of Android on the Switch.

For one reason or another, McMaster says he told Nintendo "to stick it" and that was the end of that possibility. In a later tweet, Cyanogen's Executive Chairman specifically said that Android for Switch was "under consideration" and added that while Nintendo's new gaming console doesn't run Google's ubiquitous operating system, it still uses some of its parts. The controversial tweet in which McMaster says he refused Nintendo has been deleted by now, though the one in which he talks about Android and Switch in general can still be accessed by following the source link below as of this writing.

Cyanogen's official also noted that Switch is mostly running a custom kernel, referring to the FreeBSD kernel powering Nintendo's gaming console. Additionally, it was previously confirmed that the hybrid device is also utilizing certain Android components such as the Stagefright multimedia framework. The console itself is powered by an NVIDIA-made chipset and rumors of it running a heavily modified version of Android have been circulating the industry ever since that fact came to light. While that obviously hasn't happened, Nintendo might want to reconsider the possibility of creating an Android device at a later date, especially if the Switch ends up being a commercial success worthy of a follow-up. As the company's latest gaming console has been selling in large quantities since hitting the market in early March, that just might happen.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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