WTF is wrong with Nintendo that they only had 8 friggin people working on MK7 until earlier this year?!? This ain't the Super Nintendo! No wonder Nintendo has no games coming out... they're such cheap bastards that they won't hire more people to pump software production up, and instead pull critical development teams like Retro away from their work on (hopefully) an awesome HD game for Wii U, when Nintendo should be fully able to handle a game like MK7 in-house with no problem whatsoever.
I'm sure they weren't going to release MK7 before mid 2012. That small small team was supposed to have a lot more time for the job. But with 3DS ending up in its difficult situation, Iwata decided to release all their biggest games this holiday. Did you ever see Zelda, mainline Mario and Mario Kart in one month? And three 3DS bundles and new colors in a systems' first year? NO WAY was that what Nintendo had planned, and they're not going to be happy about it.
Well maybe Nintendo needed to wake up and face reality... which is that people weren't gonna drop $250 on a handheld system with absolutely no compelling games just because it has a gimmicky glasses-free 3D feature. And what a shame to have to release 3 big titles so close together... I mean imagine if M$ or Sony had to do that... oh wait, they do. Every single year... which is why they're doing so well now, compared to Nintendo, who only release one or two notable system-sellers a year, if that. back in '07-'08, we had Metroid, Mario, Smash, and MK all on the same system, and all within 8 months of one another. Boy, I'd sure hate to have a lineup like that every other year... much better to release just one notable game a year and expect everyone to buy it because they're so desperate for any reason to dust off their systems.
With 3DS, sure. Really dumb launch strategy, too pricey, and neither a system defining new IP (like Wii Sports) nor a big established IP.
I was more speaking from Nintendo's business perspective. Price drops, new colors and bundles are tools they would have preferred sparing for later in the cycle. Good for us, just like the current first party AAA flood. But Nintendo can only produce so many top titles, and if they can't space out the release schedule, they might run into another software drought later. Let's hope not. You're definitely right about them dropping the ball 2008-2009; Wii could have become the best selling system ever, had Nintendo not fallen asleep for 2 years.
You mentioned MS and Sony: I always thought that many of their IP's don't get enough "breathing space" in between games to really develop anticipation. Ratchet & Clank, for example... how many did they release, 4 last generation, 5 in this? That's just too much, and nobody can really be surprised that they will never reach the popularity of Mario. (Yeah I know there are always tons of Mario themed games, but mainline platformers are big events you only get every 3-5 years.)