Speaking in an investor call, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, revealed that the company is always researching and developing new hardware, even if it ends up throwing most of the new ideas in the bin.
"You may not be able to believe this, but even when Nintendo has completed a hardware, it does not mean that we will surely launch it," he said before explaining that developing a new piece of hardware takes up to three years on average. After that, an internal team evaluates it and decides if it is better to stick with the hardware that's already on the market.
"[New] hardware is not needed until the time our software developers see the end in making new software with the existing hardware, or unless we have no more new market to explore and all the potential consumers have purchased our hardware," said Iwata.
"The more decisive factor is when the software developers will start demanding for new hardware as they cannot create any more software with surprise factors with the existing one. Nintendo has always been making the hardware in order to prepare for that day to come."