Nintendo to Merge Console and Handheld Divisions

Nintendo Wii U Launch

Japan's dominant games company restructures to face new competition.

Japanese gaming stalwart Nintendo has set in motion plans to merge its handheld and console devices divisions into one entity.

Regional newspaper Nikkei (via MCV UK) reported that major organisational changes come in response to the increased competitiveness in a marketplace that Nintendo once dominated unopposed.

Set to be completed in a month, the merged unit will work out of Nintendo's new USD300 million research and development centre near Kyoto.

This follows a lacklustre opening performance of its new home console, the Wii U, which according to Enterbrain saw sales of only 638,339 units between December 8th and 30th.

Despite this, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told Reuters that sales were steady and what had been expected but acknowledged that the company faced problems due to its strategy of releasing two differing models of the Wii U at the same time.

"It was the first time Nintendo released two models of the game console at the same time ... and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this," he told the news organisation.

Since then, Japanese publication Famitsu (via NeoGaf) has reported that the company's latest handheld, the 3DS, crossed the 10 million units sold milestone as of January 2nd 2012.

The company has also unveiled a range of 3DS titles set for release in 2013, including the much anticipated Pokémon X and Y, which represents the popular series first outing on the new handheld.

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