Nintendo has hit a rough patch with third-party publishers in recent years, and is now hoping to mend fixes and spur on third-party success with the 3DS. In a financial Q&A (via Joystiq), company president Satoru Iwata said the company will be scheduling around third-party dates so that (ideally) both will be successful.
"We want the other companies to be successful," he said. "In order to accomplish this goal, we would like to decide on the dates after we know the release plans of other companies' games so that we are able to consider how we can maximize the sales of our titles without affecting the sales of other companies in the short term."
This willingness to work hand-in-hand with third-parties is an about-face from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime's comments from about a year ago regarding the Wii. At the time, Fils-Aime remarked that providing a large install base and software development tools was as far as their first-party responsibility went. If Iwata carries out this plan of working closely with third-parties, it could reflect a serious change in the corporate tone.
Citing this as the reason, Iwata stopped short of giving release targets for Mario Kart 3DS or Super Mario 3DS. But we've previously heard that Mario 3DS is coming this year, at least in Japan, so third-parties better announce their plans release plans soon.