Nintendo to merge handheld and home console divisions

Hopes to compete with increasing variety of competitors

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Times are changing fast in the hardware industry, and Nintendo hopes to keep the pace by combining its handheld and home console divisions. Nikkei reports (translated by IGN, confirmed by Engadget) the company plans to pull 130 staff from home consoles and 150 from handhelds into the new unified division, the first major restructuring at the House of Mario since 2004.

"With more people using their smartphones and tablets for entertainment via the Internet, including games and videos, Nintendo aims to come up with next-generation game systems that will turn heads," the report reads.

Significant disruption in the console market thanks to mobile devices as well as new contenders like Steam Box, Ouya, and Nvidia's Project Shield means the new division has its work cut out for it. Nintendo hopes the unification will speed up development and that the new interactions between formerly separate engineering staff could provide a "hotbed of new ideas."

The division will open February 16, and will be housed in a new $340 million facility next to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto by the end of the year.

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