Okay for the top part. For the last paragraph, again, time will tell. There is lots for us to learn still, but just logically I think it very unprobable that Nintendo would launch a platform that would be considered last gen for another 4 years, given their aggresive new stance on attracting the core.
I don't think they're actually doing anything to attract a "core." I'm really not even certain what that means, like, is Nintendo trying to convince hardcore gamers on the Xbox360 and PS3 that Cafe is worth a purchase? Or are they just trying to appeal to their own personal "core" consumers?
Surely by now they must know they'll never be a company that will appeal to serious gamers, as in, Nintendo will never be seen as the place for hardcore gaming. Back on the SNES, they certainly were. The GameCube tried to be a hardcore machine, but still sold below comptitors. Hell, I think if the Dreamcast hadn't died early, it probably would've outsold the GameCube in the long run. In two years, it managed to sell half what the GameCube took 5 years to do.
I don't think Nintendo does "logic." There's zigging and zagging and then there's Nintendo. We can't even call it "zogging." It requires a weirder word. Like "splortch" or something. Zig, Zag, Splortch. Cafe sounds like it's essentially in the same league, technologically, as the X360 and PS3. I mean, if you don't think Nintendo would launch a system that would essentially be considered "last gen" for another four years, keep in mind that the DS, Wii, and even 3DS are largely "last-gen" technology.
I like the 3DS and it is powerful and all, but let's face it--it's core processor isn't that much more powerful than the PSP (with the exception that unlike the PSP, the 3DS has a GPU rather than running everything off the CPU). Aside from the 3-D aspect, pretty much everything else the 3DS does isn't a revolutionary leap in any way. Limited motion controls, gameplay involving the camera (PSP did it), the wi-fi, and touch-screen, etc. It's damn near last-gen tech... for another four years or so.