Nintendo Researching Ways To Integrate Handheld And Home Consoles


Nintendo is currently researching new ways to integrate both handheld and home consoles. They are trying to find a way to have the two have similar architectures so that porting between the consoles will be easier than they are now. The difference in power and graphics between handheld and home consoles make it difficult to port games from one to another. This isn’t to say that there will be a hybrid home/handheld console but an architecture for both that makes it easier to develop for both.

Using Android and iOS as an example, no matter the device, developing for Android or iOS is universal and works on nearly all devices that run the operating system. Iwata stated that they are looking into ways of mimicking this development process with the new console. Last year, both the handheld and home console development teams merged into one because due to technological advances, it became easier to integrate the architecture between the two to make them more similar.

Due to cost restraints, all new consoles were vastly different from its predecessor, hence why it’s so difficult for Nintendo to port one game from a previous console to a newer one. The only two consoles that were similar enough in graphical and processing power were the Gamecube and the Wii.

The general idea is to have the next system be similar enough to the Wii U that it can easily be its own entity while also allowing for easy integration with the Wii U so if they choose to port a game, it won’t be an uphill battle. They want to create a “family” of systems as opposed to having each console differ so greatly from another that they can’t work together.

(Source: NeoGAF, Nintendo Q&A)