The Switch is selling because it's *not* the 3DS. It is not some low level game machine that relies a lot on kids. By going higher tier with the Switch you have a more compelling product that's resulting in better sales.
If you do the whole "lets just ride this platform into the ground until it's badly outdated" thing that's not going to work for the Switch. Switch is a different kind of platform from the DS/3DS/GB lines, if Nintendo tried to make a "4DS" today it probably wouldn't even hit 50 million. Reason being smart phone games have really cannibalized the kids and budget market. The 3DS still has some sway there, but it's a small market.
The higher end market is where it's at for Nintendo, that's where you have a device that does things you can't really get on a smartphone or tablet and they need to keep IMO at least a 1 generation gap minimum between the Switch the other home consoles. If you let Sony/MS stretch it to 2 generations difference, the gap is too large and the Switch will lose credibility as a hybrid console and really just be a glorified portable that has a TV out. So when Sony/MS go to PS5/XB2, Nintendo needs to introduce a Switch that is in the PS4/XB1 tier at least.
Otherwise the Switch brand is going to lose luster, it's not going to work as a "well now it's a cheap little Game Boy type thing!".
The Switch isn't high end though, it never was, from day 1 it was technically behind the competition. People aren't buying it for its graphics, two of its biggest sellers are Wii U games.
For a product that's portable, it's pretty high end.
People are buying it because it's just high end enough to be feasible as a console. But if you let that run long in the tooth, that appeal fades and it just becomes a Game Boy type thing with a TV out.
Keeping the discrepancy from modern home consoles to the Switch concept within 1 console generation is the key, that's close enough that you can have impressive experiences on the Switch that people don't associate with a portable machine that are relatively modern. PS4/XB1 are better hardware but Zelda: BoTW is still a game and overall experience that's relatively comparable to what you would see on a PS4/XB1.
When you lose the appeal of "wow, this little sucker can really play some modern style high end games" from the Switch concept, that concept as a whole loses a lot of steam.
PS5/XB2 are going to become the home console standard soon, if you leave the current Switch to have to compare to that, it's too much of a gap, this is not the DS or GB where it's all about low-tech gaming and Nintendo has a monopoly on the kids portable gaming market anymore. That won't work. You want to keep the gap to one gen difference at least, so when they go to PS5/XB2, you should have a Switch ready that can play PS4/XB1 games maybe even slightly better than that.
In other words, Switch should always have a hardware model capable of running a game like a Zelda or Metroid or whatever that is relatively in the same ball park of the other top end games of its day. When you allow a 2 generation gap, that's really not possible, the Zelda Nintendo can offer will look badly antiquated, like BotW would be if it had to run on 3DS tech instead of Wii U tech.
Last edited by Soundwave - on 28 November 2018