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In a bid to strengthen development team for its next-generation game consoles Nintendo will merge handheld and console divisions next month. The primary reason for a merge is obvious: speeding up development cycle of consoles to better compete with traditional and new rivals. The decision has both pros and cons.

Nintendo has been lagging behind Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. when it comes to hardware for more than a decade now. With technically outdated Wii, Nintendo managed to sell tens of millions of video game systems because it targeted non-core gamers and offered a very innovative motion-sensing controller. However, both 3DS handheld game console and Wii U video game system for TVs will hardly repeat the success of predecessors, the DS and Wii, because competing new-generation game consoles (PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 “Orbis”, Xbox Next) and forthcoming smartphones or tablets will offer better experience at similar price or similar experience at lower cost.

In an attempt to ensure that the following generations of game consoles will be more technically sophisticated and emerge on the market on time, Nintendo will bring the separate divisions together, opening a new unified sector that will include 130 console engineers and 150 handheld engineers, reports Gamasutra web-site citing a Nikkei publication that was confirmed by Nintendo.

 

With 280 engineers onboard, the new global console development division of Nintendo will most likely concentrate on creation of the next-generation handheld gaming system, which debuted almost two years ago. Thanks to higher headcount, the development cycle will likely take less time and will probably result into something considerably more advanced than smartphones or tablets that will be on the market when the next portable system from Nintendo emerges. Moreover, a unified division will likely be able to quicker and better respond to existing and emerging market trends.

On the other hand, without two development teams, Nintendo will be able to design only one game console at a time, not two in parallel. As a result, it is unclear how significantly the company will be able to shrink development cycles for portable and non-portable game consoles.

Tags: Nintendo, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, DS

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 01/18/13 06:43:26 AM
Latest comment: 01/18/13 09:31:55 AM

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1. 
because competing new-generation game consoles (PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 “Orbis”, Xbox Next) and forthcoming smartphones or tablets will offer better experience at similar price or similar experience at lower cost.


What is that for statement when there's barely anything known about the PS4 or the "Xbox 720".
I also have a hard time believing that Nintendo literally said that, I mean if they really think that than why bother releasing a console like the Wii U if you know it's going to fail...

btw, Gamasutra says nothing about the whole comparison between consoles, which reinforces my doubts even more.
1 0 [Posted by: whythisname  | Date: 01/18/13 06:43:26 AM]
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2. 
Last weekend, I invited 2 groups of friends (age 25-40) to play the Wii U Nintendo Land game. We really had a blast with both groups especially the "Mario Chase" and "Luigi Ghost" games. The touch screen/tablet really can help creating new gameplay.
0 0 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 01/18/13 09:00:52 AM]
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3. 
And I guess Nintendo will merge the 2 systems into one. The Wii U game pad is almost like a portable.

So the next system will be that you can buy the console with the gamepad/handheld. Or you can just buy the handheld, then upgrade to get the console later. Both devices will support the portable games. When playing indoor, connect with the console to use the big screen TV and local multiplayer. And single player games can continue from TV to outdoor using the gamepad.

This way Nintendo will not need to have 2 hardware development teams as there will only be 1 system release to address both markets.
0 0 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 01/18/13 09:31:55 AM]
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