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AMD Might Be Making The Nintendo NX Processor

Recent reports indicate Nintendo (OTCMKTS: NTDOY) and AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) are partnering to fabricate the processor for the Japanese console maker’s next-generation console, the Nintendo NX.

According to evidence gathered by VentureBeat, a few AMD employees let slip that the company has new customized chipsets in the works.

AMD has said in the past that they plan to use the bulk of their semi-customized chips for video games consoles. The current-gen gaming console triumvirate, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U, are all powered by custom AMD chips–however the latter features an IBM processor.

Read More: Nintendo Announces New Platform Called ‘NX’

In a conference of December of last year, months before the NX was announced, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar was quoted saying that AMD is working on two customized chips based on x86 and ARM architectures, respectively.

“They are going to announce it,” Kumar continued,” and you will find out that it is AMD’s APU that is being used in those products.”

AMD CEO Lisa Su also added more credence to the speculation by announcing that the company has a third customized chip design on the way. AMD has made projections that these new chips could generate a billion dollars in sales over their lifetime.

Nintendo NX

But what if the Nintendo NX was an amalgamation of console and mobile gaming?

We still don’t exactly know any real details of the hardware, other than it’s going to be a nexus for an ecosystem of devices including smartphones, tablets, PC’s and Nintendo products.

Interestingly enough Patrick Moorhead, of Moorhead Insights and Strategy, has this contigency covered.

“I think it’s a very high probability (of AMD pairing with Nintendo) unless Nintendo goes Android where I would expect them to go with Nvidia.”

This makes sense considering Nintendo has fervently denied the NX will run on Android OS.

There’s also speculation that the Nintendo NX will support backwards compatibility with the Wii U’s library. Since the Wii U is powered by an IBM processor it’d take some tweaking under the hood to get things synced up.

As CEO Lisa Su further notes, AMD would have to enable a way for the new console to use software translation in order to run older Wii and Wii U games.

There’s the question of GamePad functionality, but Nintendo affirms that the Wii U will be compatible with the NX, and the company will likely make GamePad’s separately available on the retail market.

Up until now Nintendo has been very tight-lipped on NX info, and we likely won’t hear any more news until 2016 when the Japanese console-maker is expected to unveil the new hardware.



  • Frostbitten

    Console and mobile together? Barf. Keep that mobile shit where it belongs, entertaining the attention span people that think angry birds is more than a simplistic flash game. Consoles are bad enough as is via the pay content and season pass crap, they don’t really need to sully themselves with that pathetic market too.

  • Paladinrja

    I think that the millennium generation growing up on Wii most likely have a pretty good imagination about how far something like this is most likely to go.

    I think the erroneous concept that closed box gamers have towards mobile is in defaulting to the examples of the past and believing that its representative of the all the tech has to offer. Kinda funny when AMD scc’s are aimed at the mobile market almost exclusively. The general perception of the public is that mobile gaming is limited to krait class mobile processors under Java exclusively, which can actually deliver amazing results (DeadSpace on BBZ30 and TV display) however Jaguar and Broadwell, along with newer tech from ARM and of course the awesome Tegra X1 are certainly grown up new mobile tech that should redefine that perception.

    Nintendo NX is almost assuredly going to be a hub or nexus device that on its own will not need to be powerful, as newer mobile tech becomes better able to leverage the power within its eco-system with near field alone and without any need for robust cloud performancing.

    The difficulty in software translation seems to me to be a bit of a red herring. Wii U’s SoI includes extensive cache hierarchy on RISC OOoE that should have insight provided as devs experience more of AMDs ACE’s through Mantle. This leads me to feel that any such scc offerring from AMD as a complete package would have to lean more towards ARM.