I remember that during the first 6-12 months of the 3DS being out, there was a lot of doom and gloom about the system not doing well, not having any games, and people just not being sure if it was going to take off. Then at some point halfway through 2012, I noticed that most gaming journalists seem to be of the opinion that it's doing pretty alright, and that now the Vita is the thing to worry about. I'm just not sure why opinions suddenly turned around, when not a whole lot has changed.
Was it really just the 3DS price drop that did it? I know it certainly helped, but a price-dropped handheld with few great games is still a handheld with few great games. Or did the switch happen when Super Mario 3D Land came out, and it was legitimately awesome? People seem to think that Kid Icarus was certainly polished and full of content, but the controls ultimately weren't for everybody, and I don't think of it as the must have game for the system. Mario Kart 7 is functional, but meh, it's Mario Kart again. Ditto for New Super Mario Bros. 2. There is some good 3DSWare, but I don't think any of it is so great that it turned around opinion on the 3DS.
It just doesn't seem like the system has improved that much in the past year. The price was already cut this time last year. Since then, they've had basically 2 notably polished games (3D Land, Kid Icarus), and 2 Mario games that were sorta phoned in. I guess we have another Professor Layton out this year and a (hopefully return to form) Paper Mario, but these are all the series you expect to come out on a Nintendo handheld, and are largely formulaic at this point (aside from the 2 standout games mentioned). Is the Vita just doing so terribly that suddenly it's high fives all around for the 3DS' so-so library at this point?