Nintendo is working on new video game hardware and has a reasonably clear idea of the direction its next console will take.
In a Q&A session held during Nintendo's annual financial results briefing, president Satoru Iwata was asked by an investor whether weaker than expected Wii U and 3DS sales would force the company to launch a next-generation platform sooner than originally planned.
"Once we launch a new platform, we naturally start to prepare for the next one," Iwata explained.
"As it takes several years to develop a single platform, if you ask us whether we are preparing for our next system, then the correct response will be that we are always developing new hardware.
"On the other hand, the most difficult question for us to answer in public in concrete terms is when we are going to launch our new hardware and what kind of hardware we are going to launch, and I am afraid that I cannot talk about this in more detail.
"However," Iwata added, "I can certainly assure you that we are not at a dead end of any kind in which we are out of ideas for developing new hardware. I of course believe that launching new hardware will not produce good results unless we first make sure that those who have already purchased our platforms are satisfied.
"We will continue to work hard to ensure that consumers who already own our platforms are satisfied, and make sure that people will continue to see great value in our software, but I would like to say that we are preparing for our next hardware system, and in fact, we already have a clear idea to some extent about the direction our next hardware is going to take."
In the same Q&A session, Iwata told investors that a single game can change the fate of a video game system, while remaining cautious about Wii U's immediate future.
Last week, Iwata also announced a new near field communication platform for Wii U and 3DS called Nintendo Figurine Platform.
Nintendo will once again forgo a traditional E3 press conference in 2014, instead opting to conduct a "digital event" to showcase its new games and announcements.
On Tuesday, June 10 the platform holder will hold a special Nintendo Direct to share "further detail on the gaming experiences on the way for Nintendo platforms in 2014 and beyond".