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This article was published on January 16, 2013

Nintendo is reportedly uniting its handheld and console businesses, planning $340m development center

Nintendo is reportedly uniting its handheld and console businesses, planning $340m development center Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Nintendo is reportedly set to bring its console and handheld divisions together, and invest 30 billion yen (circa $340 million) in a new development facility in Kyoto as it bids to increase its competitive edge.

The Verge cites a Japanese report from The Nikkei which claims that the two units will become one within a month, as Nintendo looks to see the two teams share technology and know-how to improve product development going forward. Given that sales of the games giant’s Wii U console and recently released 3DS handheld have not exactly lit the touch paper, a revamp may be in order.

The company cited low demand for the 3DS when it cut its 2012 profit forecast from 20 billion yen ($250 million) to 6 billion yen ($75 million), although it has claimed success with Wii U in the US. The company has sold an estimated 890,000 units since its November launch, but its longer-term future is less clear. Nintendo may also be feeling the heat from Ouya and Nvidia’s recently unveiled ‘Project Shield’, which are bringing new mobile-led approaches to the industry.

The precise details of the reorganization have not been outed, but given the increasing convergence between handheld and fixed gaming, a closer alliance between Nintendo’s gaming units appears to make a great deal of sense on paper.

The new facility is reportedly set to open later this year and it would be interesting if Nintendo were to bring elements of both handheld and fixed devices together in future products, but that’s purely speculative at this stage. Certainly, it seems strange that the two units exist with such a degree of separation.

We’ve reached out to the company for comment.

Image via FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images