Guys, the 8th gen has only just begun, and with the latest Nintendo Direct is gearing to be a very exciting generation for the industry.
Lately news emerged that Nintendo was soon merging its home and handheld console R&D divisions. This will lead to a unified R&D division that's double the size of the original, leading to twice the effort in one same area. But the big question is, will this lead to a unified console for the 9th generation? One that would be both portable and home-ready at once?
I believe the answer is yes. 7 years from now you will look back at this thread and realize that I was right, because a Nintendo fan knows Nintendo always plays its game many years in advance, years before we see what's coming, they've imagined it, planned it.
In essence, I predict that Nintendo will release a single, super-deluxe platform for the 9th generation that will be the brainchild of some 300 R&D engineers, and will house the combined efforts of all of Nintendo's studios on one platform.
Why does this matter? Well, if you weren't living under a rock for the past 20 years, Nintendo's handheld presence has been its saving grace throughout its difficult years, and has been a record-breaker for the 7th gen with the DS. The Wii was, after 2 weaker Nintendo home console gens (N64 & cube), able to experience renewed enthusiasm for the brand thanks to its Wiivolution. However, Nintendo's main source of sales strength has always been in its handheld strategy. Simple games, affordable, playable, fun. They've tried to migrate this success to the home console with the Wii first (Stylus to wiimote, casual game, cheap console price) and it worked, and are trying it again with the U.
But what happens when your next platform is so brilliant yet so powerful it can be a handheld and a home console at once, and sold at a reasonable price? That's right. All of the support that was divided onto two platforms can now be merged to one platform for a uber Nintendo experience.
And how would this affect 3rd parties? Well, instead of making some games on the DS and make loads of money, and maybe making some games on the Wii, we have a situation where any game made by a 3rd party is on the platform, no more stigma.
I believe the restructuring is part of a vision at Nintendo, to tackle the mobile/smart tv threat, and unify its console effort for a hefty punch.
What are your thoughts, and bookmark this thread for 2018! :)