And yet, nothing in your post suggests that lack of compelling software wasn't behind each and every slowdown.
Of course it was the reason behind every slowdown or more to the point every launch (apart from wii).
I wasn't suggesting otherwise so maybe you misunderstood my point.
The last two Nintendo console launches have been done very badly.
However Nintendo have learnt one thing. It took a price cut to get things going for the 3DS because of poor software support. Right there is bags of money lost. No company plans to cut the price of a console so soon after launch. It screws up the financial forecast. Yes the 3DS recovered but it would have been much better financially to have sold it for the launch retail price for much longer.
That's why they are not so keen to cut the wii u price as they did with the 3DS. The fact that it is already being sold at a lost probably aids this decision but it seems that every fool knows software sells consoles apart from Nintendo.
How often does a wise man fall into the same trap?
I cannot recall MS or Sony using this excuse every two minutes. They probably have but not as frequent as Iwata.
Ah, sorry, I did mistake your point.
I think Nintendo does realize how crucial software is, it simply isn't executing effectively on that knowledge. It does try to court developers, by leaving launch windows open (3DS and seemingly Wii U as well), modifying hardware (Wii U gamepad), and flat-out funding development (Platinum). They just don't appreciate how much of a handicap they have to overcome in the eyes of rival publishers.
On the internal side, they don't seem to be giving their studios enough lead time to know what kind of hardware they'll be developing for. So you end up with delayed up-ports of projects which were started for the previous generation and don't effectively leverage new hardware. Add in the challenges of managing ballooning development teams. The quality software comes, but a year or two late, and after the console has been stigmatized as a failure.
The 3DS is an exception here, as I really do think it was priced out of the market at $250, at least outside of Japan. I think Nintendo could have sold it for $200, but didn't want a repeat of the Wii with three years of sell-outs leaving money on the table. Tactical error.