That's not panic. That's preparing for the next generation. Why push the DS longer just to outsell the PS2 (which means absolutely nothing in business terms) and delay your next generation platform (which alters the software release plans for yourself and every 3rd party developing for it) all while giving massive market share to your rival?
The launch of the 3DS was indeed not panic. It was a combination of wanting to get a headstart on the competition and pushing stereoscopic 3D. The resulting software drought due to the 3DS's early launch wasn't a case of panic, but rather plain stupidity, namely the belief that "software sells hardware" is an outdated concept; Iwata and Miyamoto openly mocked the fundamental wisdom of console sales in the Iwata Asks for the 3DS. They were convinced that 3D on its own would sell the 3DS.
What was panic, however, was the price cut for the 3DS which made it cost about as much as a DSi (XL). The early launch of the 3DS on its own would have not prevented the DS from outselling the PS2, but the price cut made two different generations of systems cost the same, with the newer one being fully backwards compatible. That's what really cut into the legs of the DS.