Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata is being cautious with his words regarding the codenamed NX, Nintendo's upcoming console, in a now English-translated general Q&A meeting with shareholders.
While he could not "speak about the details of NX" out of the fear of being too "persuasive", he did calm worries that the console would mean that Nintendo would be quickly abandoning the 3DS handheld and the Wii U console:
Regarding your concern about what will happen to Wii U or what will happen to Nintendo 3DS, NX is a new platform, so the installed base will have to be built up from zero. When NX is launched, there already will be a certain volume of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U hardware widely existing in the market, so from a software business perspective, it would be highly inefficient to stop releasing titles for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U right after the launch of NX.
Read a different way, this will mean that it will be eventually efficient to cut 3DS and Wii U software and hardware once the NX does have a foothold in the industry—all par for the course really.
I believe the main concern for second-party and third-party developers, whom Nintendo will discuss with regarding "how to continue creating software for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS," is the cross-platform compatibility between the NX, 3DS, and Wii U. It would seem that developing the same game for all three or even two of these platforms simultaneously, as it is now, would be a tall order.
Earlier in the Q&A, Iwata admitted that both the 3DS and Wii U has struggled:
I will not share details on NX today but with regard to the launch of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U not necessarily having progressed well and not acquiring sufficient support from software publishers, we intend to offer NX through a Nintendo-like solution. Thank you for understanding that we are making various considerations and preparations in order to avoid what happened with the previous generations.
We can only speculate as to what this "Nintendo-like solution" will be. Perhaps it will launch with a brand-new Mario game bundled into it and without backwards compatibility? What do you think this means?