Don't mess with him

One of the most anticipated 3DS games is nearly here: Super Mario 3D Land releases in Japan next week, and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata expects it to ignite 3DS hardware sales.

Speaking to investors after the company's quarterly results, Iwata revealed that since the price drop the 3DS is selling at a better pace than the DS in the same period of its life, stating:

I think we can imagine large growth for the Nintendo 3DS in the year-end sales season.

How big are we talking, though? Nintendo hopes to sell a further 9.32m 3DS consoles worldwide before the end of the financial year, but Iwata has something more than figures in mind: he wants sales to show that consoles are here to stay:

Next week, after the launch of “Super Mario 3D Land,” we would like the Nintendo 3DS to become explosively widespread and sweep away some reports that game-dedicated devices are coming to an end.

Can the 3DS succeed in changing that perception in its first year? Is Super Mario 3D Land the game to show the industry that handhelds are still a viable and relevant platform? There's lots of questions, and we may never have a definitive answer, but we'll have a better idea when Nintendo releases its next financial results at the end of January.