News Article

Nintendo Unifying Handheld and Console Divisions in Business Restructure

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

$340 million being invested in a new development facility

While many of us focus exclusively on our latest Nintendo consoles and what games are coming up, it's easy to forget that Nintendo's a rather large corporation that's always evolving and seeking a business edge. While it may crush any perceptions that Nintendo's facilities are populated by Willy-Wonka style shenanigans with awesome games plopping out of colourful machines, there's interesting news about an upcoming restructure of Nintendo's development divisions.

According to a report in Nikkei, Nintendo is currently planning to merge its handheld and console divisions into a single unit in the next month. There are also plans to invest $340 million in a new Kyoto-based development facility to house the teams by the end of the year, with the overriding concept that teams and groups that previously wouldn't interact can work together more closely.

With the Wii U GamePad concept it seems like a sensible move that the teams into one space, with the lines arguably blurring between the two platforms — experiences once only suitable on a handheld or home console now have greater scope to be recreated or enhanced by the other. It could mean more blending of ideas between teams that have typically focused on specific franchises, while we can perhaps hope for more cross-play and interaction between 3DS and Wii U games.

With Nintendo many things are possible, so let us know what you think of the move in the comments below.


From the web

User Comments (31)



rayword45 said:

Hopefully this isn't the death of Nintendo consoles. Sony looks bad right now, so the only option would be Microsoft.



darkgamer001 said:

Why on earth would it suggest the end of consoles? The Wii U is doing well enough, contrary to what most critics would say/want to believe
It just means more connectivity between the 3DS and the U. Great news for owners of both



Shworange said:

Really? I'd be worried if Nintendo couldn't scrape together 340 million dollars for the building. If they have 340 million to throw around for one facility, I'd say things are looking pretty good.



ThomasBW84 said:

From what I understand, Nintendo has about $4 billion dollars in cash, which doesn't include assets such as property etc. They're OK for quite a few years to come, even if monster profits don't return this year.



WiiLovePeace said:

I'm excited by the prospect of this upgrade & yet wish it would've happened before Wii U's release, because if the structure change is only happening now... Means we may not see the results for another 1 to 3 years



allav866 said:

Now that I think about it, this could mean that they're getting prepared to start on Super Smash Bros. 4. The game is supposedly coming to 3DS and Wii U, so having both teams together would make it a lot easier.



Scollurio said:

@ThomasBW84 now that's some money. I really think 2013 will be the year of the 3DS and INDIEGAMES (on every platform) - about time the "copy-paste-triple-a" titles get some competition and people like me get indiegems to play like "BROFORCE" - which would be so awesome on a 3DS!



cornishlee said:

Logical move. I guess this means in 5-6 years time the next Nintendo console will have a Gamepad that also functions as a portable console.



childofacid said:

@allav886 R&D is responsible for hardware not software.

I have a feeling this has nothing to do with Wii U or 3DS but their next generation console(s)



erv said:

There's obviously already a lot of work going on surrounding the console to be released in about 5 years time. Whatever the concept, it's quite clear they want to bundle the strong points of all the concepts together to turn it into a reality.

Guess they'll be able to come up with better batteries ?



ajcismo said:

I'm surprised that this hasn't happened years ago or wasn't always just the case, but I'd always heard the Gameboy group always marched to their own beat. Makes sense to me, we're moving so quickly towards a Collective that the next generation of handhelds and consoles should be completely interactive from the start. Could this be the beginning of the Nintendo Cellphone?



Savino said:

Mark my words.
Nextgen there will be no portable and table consoles...

Nintendo will bring both in one piece.



gefflt said:

This can only help the development of the next Super Smash Bros. game!



Sean_Aaron said:

Given the increase in horsepower of mobile devices I wouldn't be surprised if the 3DS and Wii U are the last pure-play handheld and TV connected devices from Nintendo. In five years time the next Nintendo game system may well have an integrated screen (or a spectacles-based display) and controls as well as HDMI out with the ability to connect external controllers via Bluetooth. Combine that with exclusively downloadable games and you really wouldn't need to differentiate any more between home console and portable gaming device.

You could certainly do this now, but I expect it would be rather too expensive and the extra five years should provide time for economic recovery and increased network speeds to better facilitate downloading. It seems like a potential first step towards this kind of convergence by Nintendo.

Well that's what I get for not reading everyone else's comments before adding to the echo chamber. At least I'm not alone!



Nintenjoe64 said:

What is the betting that they are making a new Gameboy that also doubles as the additional Wii U controller when it is released?

Not that likely but it would make a second controller a much better purchase if it could be used away from the Wii U. Perhaps using some internets to stream games from the console while it is at home..



Burning_Spear said:

I think people are reading way too much into this, in terms of SSB and GameBoys. They just want to have everyone under the same roof. We really need Pachter to say something to get us off this story.



SCAR said:

I'm sure some big stuff is going down. They wouldn't combine facilites for no reason. Throwing down cash like that is no small thing. I bet you they said,'Hmm. Let's do this', and then they did it. Good times. Haha.



WindWakerLink said:

i think it's a really good move. "now the 2 become 1" there will be greater connectivity with this move. Im excited with the possibilities!!! i can see the "Iwata Ask" segments get even funnier! XD



Emaan said:

This is really interesting. It's merging different teams and ideas that were once specifically devoted to either handheld or console. We could really see some unique things from a gameplay perspective.



DePapier said:

I would pretty much go along with those who believe this to be a signe that Nintendo's next console would be a merge of both handheld and home console. (cornishlee, childofacid, Sean_Aaron...) I mean, quite frankly, where do you see handheld gaming go beyond the 3DS? Where do you see home gaming go beyond the Wii U? A monster power smartphone? A brute force PC? Let's get real, in order to differentiate itself from smartphones, PCs, as well as from current and upcoming dedicated gaming devices, Nintendo will have to produce something yet again entirely new. And I would assume that compared to the 3DS and even to the Wii U, it is going to be something ENTIRELY UNPREDICTABLE.

(And that hardware R&D section just can't get to sleep: they aren't paid after the Wii U and 3DS launch to just reap the benefits!!)

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...