The 3DS launched without a Mario or Zelda game, and it's fair to say the machine's sales so far haven't been stunning. Satoru Iwata was recently asked about this matter during a shareholder Q&A, and acknowledged the machine's software line-up wasn't impressive.
If we had have launched the Nintendo 3DS after we had prepared more software by which the users felt "I want the Nintendo 3DS right away!," the transition of the sales of the Nintendo 3DS would have been better. You pointed out that our preparation was lacking in that regard, and we ourselves understand that is a point we have to reflect on.
In order to avoid the same situation happening with next year's Wii U launch, Iwata is quick to stress the company will be much more well-prepared:
We also must reflect on the fact that we were not able to launch Nintendo 3DS at a time when a sufficient number of strong software titles were ready. In order to avoid the same thing from happening to the Wii U, we are considering details, such as what software is suitable for the launch, more carefully than ever before.
Most crucially of course is the fact that Nintendo alone cannot be the sole software sales force behind the Wii U, which is why it's good news that Nintendo is collaborating with third parties to make hits.
You can start inventing your ideal Wii U launch line-up now, if you like.