Nintendo’s Handheld And Home Console Divisions Now Integrated
Last week, Nintendo held an in-depth investor briefing following a disappointing third quarter financial report. We covered a number of things from that meeting, including the 2014 software lineup, plans to more fully use the Wii U’s gamepad, thoughts on mobile and how it will intersect with Nintendo’s development pipeline and online services, and DS titles coming to the Wii U virtual console.
An official translation of that call gives more clarity to some of the finer points of the discussion, among them the plan to bring portable and home console development closer together. Nintendo has integrated its handheld and home console hardware divisions.
The plan is for the next generation of Nintendo hardware to be more closely aligned. This may not indicate integrated hardware, but should mean something along the lines of how Sony views the PlayStation 4 and Vita to be complementary devices.
“When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said. He likens the approach to Apple’s design philosophy for iOS devices.
“Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment,” Iwata said. “However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future.”
This philosophy will serve Nintendo well. One of the most common complaints about the company’s hardware is how disconnected the experiences feel from one another (even after the Miiverse update for 3DS). A unified friends list, account system, and (if consumers get their wish) purchases would drive home console sales on the strength of the portable offerings.