So while I was in Japan, I did a tour of the Panasonic showcase building. It's a big building, with four floors all dedicated to showcasing the newest and most exciting Panasonic technologies - both available now and stuff for the future.
What was really interesting was that of the four floors, all the technology was 100 per cent Panasonic, except for one half of one floor. Where I saw this fellow:
Notice the "Panasonic Center" right above Mario's head?
Now, I asked Panasonic about this relationship, and they were very diplomatic indeed. Given that Panasonic absolutely dominates the consumer electronics space in Japan, and has no gaming credentials of its own, it makes sense that it would use Nintendo as a partner in providing videogames to its "Panasonic home." Sony has its own competing products with Panasonic, and Microsoft has a light touch in the Japanese consumer electronics market.
And yet, you can't help but wonder. Panasonic has its fingers in every part of the home electronics pie, except for gaming. Nintendo would be a great acquisition or merger for Panasonic, and would be good for Nintendo too, since Nintendo could use some extra resourcing at the moment.