Nin­ten­do Switch Could’ve Run on Android by Cyanogen


But clearly, they are not. According to Cyanogen’s Executive Chairman Kirk McMaster, Nintendo Switch, which currently runs on a custom operating system, could’ve very well been based on Android had the Android software company accepted the offer to built one for them.


Cyanogen Inc. is now a full-fledged Android software company, which in its early days used to make custom Android-based operating systems for users with older Android devices.

A chunk of rooted Android phones ran CyanogenMod, which was basically stock Android with tweaks and custom kernels.

McMaster claimed that the Japanese gaming firm had approached Cyanogen to create an operating system for one of its upcoming portable consoles.

In the now-deleted tweet reported by XDA Developers, Kirk Mcmaster said, “In the early days of Cyanogen, Nintendo wanted us to create an OS for a certain portable. I told them to stick it.”

If this was indeed true, Nintendo Switch consoles today could’ve been powered by a version of Android-based CyanogenMod.

Johan Larsson | Flickr

McMaster’s tweet didn’t mention Switch consoles specifically, but it’ll be safe to assume that these were the consoles that Nintendo would’ve approached Cyanogen.

Cyanogen’s early days began in 2009 when the service launched, by which time, Nintendo 3Ds was ready to be launched or had been already developed, and since companies like Nintendo take up years to develop a product, Switch makes more sense in this context.

While Cyanogen never worked with Nintendo to develop their console’s operating system, McMaster claims that the current Switch OS still uses ‘bits of Android’.

The Switch uses Nvidia’s Tegra X1 hardware, which fuelled rumours about the Switch running on Android prior to its launch on March 3 because the processor works well with Android — as seen on Nvidia’s Shield Android TV micro-console.

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.