The bolded part of the above quote basically translates to, “we have one, give us a bit to tear a D800 apart and make sure ours is better”.
I don't think that's what he is saying at all. He is simply saying exactly what every other camera company is saying: if we think there is demand for it, we'll make one. However by the time that gets made if it is not already in development, it could be several years before it shows up. For instance, canon knew there was demand for a D700 fast fps camera competitor. how long did it take to make one? still waiting.
Let's put the fan cap down and put the thinking cap on. Canon is betting that their audience will be ok with 22MP just like nikon used to bet that their audience would be happy with 12. They think there will be some benefits that will make the product appealing just like nikon knows there are some benefits that will make theirs appealing.
I'm sure both companies are looking at each other and reasize they totally missjudged where the other was going to go. And off course both are capable of easily releasing models to trump each other again. Nikon could just as easly top the 5DIII with a D800s as canon could top the D800 with a 5DX. However expecting either one next month is just silly.
The interesting thing about a 22MP 5DIII is that once again the budget full frame is divided by two completely opposite camera models that essentially swapped places compared to the last generation. Nikon is now big MP game and a landscape/studio dream, canon is now fast fps game which should keep a lot of action/sports guys happy.
The quote from Maeda certainly looks like Canon is playing the role of the front-runner. Apparently, they've got a bunch of tech and several prototypes, and were just waiting for Nikon to tip their hand so they can one-up them. Now, before everyone gets too excited, as I said in a previous post, Canon will not put all of their best tech in these cameras: they will do just enough to take a clear edge, and then profit from the next cycle as well.
First of all, corporate guys talk like that. It's their job even if they have nothing in the drawing board. Nikon and others do this as well. as a matter of fact, several prototypes are the norm. Neither nikon nor canon can't create something the other can't match or surpass once the specs are known. It's the leap frog game and canon has gotten leapfrogged just as many time as nikon. Bring a phased out prototype to market is much more complicated. Both canon/nikon realized the other's position likely months ago but in the dev cycle and the big picture their bets are set. I think both are making good moves. However, their responses to the current models won't be seen for years.