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Nintendo exploring unification of consoles and handhelds

by William Schwartz

miyamoto-e3-2013

It appears that Nintendo is exploring the unification of their consoles and handhelds. Following Sony’s somewhat successful synergistic jaunt into cross platform play on the PlayStation consoles and the PS Vita, it sounds like Nintendo may be looking at a similar system in their upcoming/current hardware devices.

Shigeru Miyamoto recently expressed his interest in Nintendo games that play on both their line of home consoles and popular handhelds. In a recent interview with Kotaku, Miyamoto reveals that Nintendo sees this as an area of opportunity for the company.

A unified development environment allows for games to run on both systems

“As we move forward, we’re going to look at what we can do to unify the two development environments,” says the developer.

“So, particularly with digital downloads now and the idea that you’re downloading the right to play a game, that opens up the ability to have multiple platform digital downloads where you can download on one and download on another. Certainly from a development standpoint there is some challenge to it, because if you have two devices that have different specs and you’re being told to design in a way that the game runs on both devices, then that can be challenging for the developer—but if you have a more unified development environment and you’re able to make one game that runs on both systems instead of having to make a game for each system, that’s an area of opportunity for us.”

Miyamoto’s comments definitely don’t make it sound like this sort of functionality will be coming to the Wii U and 3DS anytime soon. But, they do open the discussion for Nintendo’s next consoles and handheld devices. While it may be a little premature to start talking about their home console, it wouldn’t be far fetched to hear that the next handheld from Nintendo was compatible with the Wii U.

Furthermore, this discussion also starts to lend some credibility to the alleged “Nintendo Fusion” device which was rumored earlier this year. Miyamoto’s comments aren’t necessarily the first time that Nintendo has discussed these plans for the future, either. Earlier this year, Iwata echoed similar ideas in a financial briefing with investors.

Bottom line, don’t be surprised when Nintendo’s new consoles arrive with more synergy between the devices.

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