Right, background. This is a Rumour with a capital "R" - nothing that follows has been confirmed by Nintendo and Nintendo's not a company to comment on speculation. Now then.
An anonymous source has apparently tipped Nintendo News that Nintendo's next console, the Nintendo Fusion, is already in the works.
This console, as the name implies, is a crossover between the console and handheld spaces of the 3DS and Wii U, consisting of two separate piece of hardware: a "Fusion DS" and a "Fusion Terminal".
Nintendo News also notes that Nintendo of America purchased the domain name nintendofusion.com back in 2003 (for a touring music and gaming festival) and the domain was mysteriously updated on January 21, 2014.Timing is everything
Nintendo News went so far as to publish leaked specs on the two units - including CPU and GPU chips and a confirmed coaxial input on the Terminal - but it seems entirely too convenient that this "leak" would pop up today, given the headlines surrounding Nintendo's rocky console business.
Many in the gaming space - myself included - believe Nintendo's future lies in creating a unified console and handheld experience in the next generation, so the timing of the Fusion rumour strikes us as rather coincidental.
Still, as with any rumour, there's a chance that this one could be true.
There's also a chance that Nintendo could exit the gaming business and return to its booming love hotel trade of the 60's and 70's . We'd love to read the "Iwata asks" for that one.
If we had to predict the validity of this rumour, we'd rank it deep in the "don't hold your breath" category - the timing's too convenient, the specs are too tidy, and it's very, very unlikely that Nintendo of America's domain would factor into a naming decision made by Kyoto. Still, stranger things have happened...