Report: Nintendo to unify console and handheld divisions
Japanese website Nikkei.com has reported that Nintendo is allegedly unifying its console and handheld game divisions. The move, according to the site, is designed to help the company as a whole produce “more innovative and attractive products,” and if the report is true, it will mark Nintendo’s first internal restructuring since 2004.
"The decision comes on the heels of recent releases of the Nintendo 3DS portable system in February 2011 and the Wii U home console last month,” the report reads. “With more people using their smartphones and tablets for entertainment via the Internet, including games and videos, Nintendo aims to come up with next-generation game systems that will turn heads."
The move, should it actually take place, will join Nintendo’s 130-person console development division with its 150-person handheld team into a single game developing division starting February 16. To house all those developers, a new building is being constructed next to Nintendo’s Kyoto headquarters and is set for completion at the end of the year.
“The two teams will eventually be integrated and the segment will be organized by function, such as circuits, mechanisms and design," quotes the report. "Game system development projects are becoming larger and taking longer to complete as the machines become more advanced. Nintendo apparently has its sights set on speeding up these projects by sharing development processes for consoles and handheld devices where possible and by reassigning personnel depending on the situation. It sees interactions between engineers as a potential hotbed of new ideas."
The idea of this merging is that by having the two divisions working as one, it will lead to greater connectivity between consoles and portable devices. Examples include the implementing of handhelds as console controllers and the ability to carry console game save data onto handhelds. "Such functions are already available with the Wii U, but Nintendo likely hopes to better streamline its products by tapping into such online services as Twitter and video sites."
Nintendo has yet to make an official comment in response to Nikkei’s report, so for the time being take this news with a grain of salt. If the Big N says anything, we’ll let you know.
Source: Nikkei (Japanese)
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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