Nintendo to Merge Handheld and Console Divisions

In the last two years, Nintendo has launched new additions to its console and handheld console lines. The 3DS was released in 2011 while the Wii U launched just last year, and the company's handheld and console businesses have always been pretty independent of each other. However, it seems Nintendo may be looking at consolidating its handheld and console divisions. 

The Verge cites a Japanese language report in Nikkei as saying the company will merge its handheld and console divisions. There's also plans to build a new development facility in Kyoto. This facility is expected to be opened by the end of the year and will be the result of an investment of $340 million. Nintendo hasn't confirmed the news, so the reasoning behind such a decision is not yet clear. While the handheld and console divisions were previously separate, it wasn't a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing in that major product launches have always been well spaced and never on top of one and other. However, the Wii U comes with a tablet-like controller that is almost definitely a device in and of itself. The Wii U definitely blurs the line between handheld and console, so perhaps Nintendo is hoping to merge the two divisions because they already worked together a lot on the Wii U and its controller.

According to NPD's December numbers, Nintendo is raking in profits with the launch of the Wii U, more so than it did with the launch of the original Wii. After the holiday period, NPD reported that Nintendo's Wii U brought in over $300 million in profits in 41 days, higher than the $270 million that Nintendo brought in from the Wii. On the handheld side, the 3DS continues to perform well, selling 1.25 million units during the last month of 2012, bringing its overall tally to 7.7 million units sold.

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  • Android powered Nintendo superphone?
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  • Considering how much pressure portable consoles are getting from the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone/tablet market and free/sub-$5 games, it isn't too surprising that Nintendo is consolidating its mobile and conventional console efforts to reduce development costs. The days of Nintendo (and other console makers) being able to charge a $15-25 license per sale to 3rd-party developers are quickly waning.
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  • A nintendo phone could be interesting...
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