Nintendo has plans to merge its console and handheld divisions by February 16th. The two will be combined into one unit that works with each other to create next-generation hardware. The new combined division will be located in a new facility, near the company headquarters. The facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
This is Nintendo’s first major restructuring plan in over ten years, which makes a sense when you consider how successful each of these departments has been on its own. Also, this plan isn’t accompanied by massive layoffs, so I’m sure Nintendo employees are happy.
There has been a rumor going around that Shigeru Miyamoto may retire soon. If this is true, it would make sense to restructure the company shortly before his departure so that the transition doesn’t create chaos. However, this has not yet been confirmed, so don’t make plans for a Miyamoto going away party just yet. In comparison, Nintendo’s last major restructuring event happened when Saturo Iwata replaced Hiroshi Yamauchi as president.
Now that Nintendo’s console and handheld divisions are going to be in the same place, perhaps we will see some new cross-console compatibility come out of Nintendo’s R&D department. Sony has been pushing this sort of cross play with the Vita, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Nintendo hopped on the bandwagon with the 3DS and Wii U.