According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, the company sees the upcoming launch of its 3DS handheld as a significant scale-up, its biggest product launch since 2004.
"We have ideas of what we want to bring to the consumer that we can’t do with the current [DS model]," Fils-Aime told Bloomberg
. "The Nintendo 3DS for us is our next handheld platform."
Although the pivotal element in the new hardware's success is likely to be how well the 3D, promised to work without special viewing glasses, is implemented, Fils-Aime says consumers will have to wait until E3 this year to see further details.
Nintendo is predicting the first year-on-year unit sales decline for its explosive DS platform since its 2004 launch. Historically the company has watched sales patterns closely, and launched incremental hardware upgrades to drive userbase expansions whenever signs of slowdown appear.
However, it's the contraction in software sales that seem to be Nintendo's priority. "Fundamentally, this business is about software, not hardware," Fils-Aime said.
"Software is what drives engagement by the consumer," he added. For us technology, is not the end, it’s the means to an end, which is around a great consumer experience."