Nintendo Japan merges handheld and console hardware teams

Unifying hardware teams is Nintendo R&D's biggest shake-up in nine years.

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Nintendo will merge its console and handheld development teams at the end of this month, as part of the first-party publisher's biggest R&D shake-up since the launch of the original DS nine years ago.

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Reported by Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via MCV), the two teams will now share their expertise as they look to develop future hardware that will satisfy both its Wii and DS audiences simultaneously.

The merged team will be working out of Nintendo Japan's new $300 million R&D facility in Kyoto, which has been in construction for the last three years.

Nintendo's most recent hardware, the Wii U, has resulted in "not bad" sales over its first two months on US store shelves, according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, although the new console was narrowly outsold by its predecessor in December.

Much of Nintendo's 2013 lineup remains unknown, although many are expecting Microsoft and Sony to weigh in with their own new hardware announcements in the next few months, with recent rumours suggesting the next Xbox and PlayStation would retail for $350.

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