The 3DS has gone through some serious ups and downs, although the holiday numbers were much more encouraging for Nintendo. To Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, he believes that they’re on the path to profitability even if they are selling the 3DS at a loss right now.

“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’,” said Iwata. “I believe we proved that such opinions are incorrect.”

Unfortunately for Iwata, some consumer trends point in the other direction.