Nintendo design guru Shigeru Miyamoto has admitted that the company was "not able to produce fun-enough products" in 2009, but that the current generation console market has not yet reached saturation point.
Speaking to financial website The Economist, apparently before the announcements of the 3DS, Miyamoto was asked how he interpreted the general slowdown in sales for videogames in 2009.
He suggested that "any entertainment products are less susceptible to changes in the economy", but admitted that Nintendo had not produced enough fun products during 2009.
This admission echoes comments made by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata last October, when he stated that "we were unable to continually release strong software" during 2009.
Together with expansion Wii Fit Plus, New Super Mario Bros. Wii was the only major new release from Nintendo last Christmas, with Wii Sports Resort the only significant release during the earlier part of the year.
Despite the dissatisfaction voiced by both of Nintendo's most prominent executives the volume of new titles has not obviously increased in 2010, with the first major first party AAA title - in the form of Super Mario Galaxy 2 - not due until May in North America and June in Europe.
When asked by The Economist whether he felt the market was becoming saturated, Miyamoto answered: "Some may call 2008 the peak year for the current generation of videogames. But there is always the opportunity to further expand videogame entertainment, and invite more people to enjoy playing."
"There is no fixed demand for entertainment in general, and videogames are not an exception. As long as we can create something new, which can offer some unprecedented experience, there is always demand we can create," he added.