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Nintendo to merge handheld, console divisions

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Nintendo is planning on merging its handheld and console teams, it has been revealed.

In a move aimed at increasing development speeds and improving connectivity between devices, the newly formed single development department will be established next month, before moving into a new building by the end of the year.

Wii U hardware E3 2011

© Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS XL















"In an effort to create more innovative and attractive products, Nintendo Co will combine the development segments for its home video game consoles and handheld game devices," reads a report at Nikkei.com (via IGN).

"The decision comes on the heels of recent releases of the Nintendo 3DS portable system in February 2011 and the Wii U home console last month.

"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.

"Such functions are already available with the Wii U, but Nintendo likely hopes to better streamline its products by tapping into such online services as Twitter and video sites."

The news comes after Nintendo revealed that it is considering adopting the free-to-play business model for new franchises.

Nintendo head Satoru Iwata said that while distribution methods have increased, established franchises such as Mario and Pokemon would continue to be sold at full price through retail partners.

Watch a hands-on video with the Wii U below:

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