File this in the weird, unlikely, but well, stranger things have happened, category of rumors. Japanese website Nikkei, which appears to have a good track record when it comes to Nintendo rumors, has dropped a little piece of insider information regarding the company's next console: the NX (that's the console's codename) might be based on Android.
According to Nikkei's insider source, an OS based on Android would make it easier to get developers on board. That's because it would be possible for them to write their games for multiple platforms, instead of having to deploy a lot of resources just to release them on one console — which is the case with Nintendo's current Wii U. Kotaku, which reported the news, speculates that an OS based on Android doesn't necessarily mean that Nintendo will be all in with Google's ecosystem, and I tend to agree. If this rumor turns out to be true, Nintendo might take an Amazon-like approach, basing its software on AOSP then adding its own layer on top, to preserve the games' DRM and keep its company's identity at the forefront.
While it makes sense for Nintendo to go the Android route, it would still be a significant departure from the company's past philosophy of solely focusing on its own hardware and platform, but not the first we'd heard of it. Just recently, it committed to releasing 5 games on mobile devices by March 2017, a move that shows it can indeed see the benefit (and profitability) of mobile platforms. But until things are substantially confirmed by Nintendo, this rumor of the NX being built on Android remains just that, a rumor.
Nintendo has responded, somewhat predictably, that it has no plans to base its next-generation console on Android. Nintendo has also, for the record, regularly denied Nikkei rumors only to later do exactly what Nikkei said they would.
- Nikkei (Japanese)