Nintendo Japan shake-up merges handheld and console hardware teams

3DS and Wii creator Nintendo will merge its handheld and console teams in Japan as part of what Japanese paper Nikkei calls major organisational changes.

The move comes amid a fast-changing games hardware marketplace once ruled by Nintendo but now shared with a range of devices from both traditional competitors plus new ones like Apple and Android.

Until this switch up – the first major shake-up at Nintendo in nine years, when the then relatively new president Satoru Iwata helped bring the DS to market – the console and handheld teams were kept separate.

This new merged console and handheld console team will be merged in a month.

Together they will be working out of the new R&D centre that Nintendo has been building for the last three years, near its original offices in Kyoto, Japan where the bulk of Nintendo’s development teams are situated. Nintendo is investing over $300m in this new facility.

The Nikkei report says that the teams will now work together to share tech and expertise, and investigate future platforms that would satisfy both its DS sand WIi audiences in one – the very thing critics of the firm’s strategy say has been done by new cheaper tablets.

It’s not yet clear what impact this will have on overseas operations for Nintendo – and it’s likely to be very little in the short-term, as sales and marketing offices are still focused on future releases for the 3DS and growing the recently-released Wii U.

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