I really thought the 3DS would be replaced by a new gen handheld in 2016, starting nintendo's "unified platform" initiative where their handheld and console use the same OS/Dev Tools, just the console being more powerful. With the news of the new 3DS (which I'm buying ASAP here in the US, just have to decide between White or Black) I wonder how this effects the 3DS successor and when it will come out.
Personally I'm fine with a GBC/DSi like upgrade in hardware. I could live another 2-3 years with great 3DS games and a few N3DS exclusives. But it would seem that the HDS/4DS would'nt happen as soon as I thought it would now.
The DSi was out 2 years before the 3DS came out, the GBC was out 3 years before the GBA came out. We know the new 3DS is somewhere in between new console and stop-gap redesigned ol' 3DS. (Heck, its still 240P!) so my guess is that the 3DS successor doesn't come out until 2017 now with maybe a 2016 announcement.
How would this effect the Wii U successor? I wouldn't be surprised if Splatoon, Zelda, etc are the system's last big first party push in 2015, leading to a N7 (what I like to call their next console) announcement in early 2016 for a late 2016 release or possibly a 2017 release.
I imagine they're next devices will be cross compatible for the most part. Nintendo 4DS rocks decent ARM powered chipset (possibly via AMD) in 2017 and plays DS/3DS games while the new console runs all 4DS games plus its own games, or something like that.
Anyway, what do you think? No 3DS successor until 2017 then?