Nintendo opening new $141M R&D facility

Kyoto-based Wii maker plans to consolidate product-development efforts in 40,000 square-foot campus near current headquarters.

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As part of its nine-month earnings report in January, Nintendo severely disappointed investors by revising its full-year earnings downward 9 percent and cutting its profit projections by an onerous 36 percent. The thing is, even despite the hit, Nintendo still expects to pull in a record-setting gob of cash for the year, to the tune of ¥230 billion ($2.54 billion) on revenues of ¥1.82 trillion ($20.1 billion).

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Sufficiently flush with money, the Kyoto, Japan-based game maker has revealed plans to build a new research-and-development office near its current headquarters. As reported by Japanese financial news service Nikkei Net, the facility will be constructed in close proximity to the company's current headquarters on a 40,000 square-meter lot that Nintendo purchased for ¥12.8 billion ($141.6 million) in December.

After a poor showing from the GameCube, Nintendo's R&D department turned the tide during the current hardware generation, thanks to the innovative input methods of the Wii and DS. Through December, Nintendo's console had sold 44.96 million units globally since launching in late 2006, whereas the DS had sold 96.22 million units during the course of its three iterations since the original system launched in 2004.

Nintendo representatives informed Nikkei that the new facility will be devoted to creating new game consoles as well as software for the Wii and DS. Previously, Nintendo's R&D department operated out of two different facilities, and the new setup is intended to help the teams more effectively collaborate, a Nintendo representative said. Nikkei notes that Nintendo has not yet determined when it plans to integrate the two facilities.

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