The Japanese national TV channel NHK aired a report during the evening edition of its news broadcast stating that Sony has finalized its plans for the acquisition of a semiconductors plant in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, currently owned by Renesas Electronics. The plant is quite relevant to the gaming industry as it produces the Wii U’s DRAM Chip, defined by many the “life stone” of Nintendo’s console.
The acquisition has been rumored for a while and a finalization for the plans was indeed expected around the end of January.
According to the report, Sony will purchase the plant for 7 billion yen (just north of 68 million dollars) and will invest a further 20 billion (slightly less than 195 million dollar) for the purchase of new production facilities. An unspecified percentage of the factory’s staff will also be absorbed by Sony.
Despite its former Wii U-related output, the factory won’t be used to produce components for Sony’s consoles, but it will be destined to increase by 30% the company’s production of CMOS sensors for smartphones.
Nintendo hasn’t officially announced a new partner for the production of the Wii U’s DRAM yet, but the company is said to have sizable stocks of the component, so production should not be affected in the near future. Kyoto’s historical console manufacturer had plenty advance notice, as the factory was supposed to be closed by Renesas before Sony’s intervention.
Given the conversion of the production line of Tsuruoka’s plant, it’s unlikely that it’ll continue to produce the component for Nintendo under Sony’s ownership.
[Thanks for the Tip: Masaru Aoyama]