Flying in the face of what seems to have become common thought, especially in communities similar to the one on this site, Nintendo believes their Nintendo 3DS has shown that there is room in the market for a dedicated gaming device. Contemporaries think smartphones are pushing handheld gaming systems away from consumers, but the graph above and Satoru Iwata’s quote below speak to the contrary.

Here’s Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, during the company’s recent financial meeting:

“Last summer, when the sales pace of the Nintendo 3DS was slow, there were extreme remarks saying, ‘With the penetration of smartphones, will there still be a market for handheld hardware?,’ which was almost equal to ‘Handheld hardware is not necessary anymore…

…I believe we proved that such opinions are incorrect.”

The Nintendo 3DS, following its price cut, has been selling exceptionally well for Nintendo. It’s looking less like a doomed device and more like Nintendo’s new stance in the portable field for the next few years.

Even Nintendo’s direct competition has said essentially the same thing about the 3DS’ sales performance and how it demonstrates market desire for a gaming dedicated portable. Here’s what Sony’s Andrew House, SCE President and CEO, had to say back during CES:

“The sales of the 3DS, having the advantage of releasing a little bit ahead of us, have been exceedingly good. I think that shows that there is, in general, a lot of demand for a gaming primary portable device, which is how I would describe Vita…”

Nintendo still took a large fiscal loss on the year. The Wii and the Nintendo 3DS both showed a tremendous amount of sales growth around the holiday, but their early year performance was too much to overcome.

However, the pace and trajectory of the Nintendo 3DS has demonstrated there is plenty of room for gaming dedicated portable hardware on the market.

[via Joystiq]