Game console generations tend to overlap. We are in transition from Generation 8 to Generation 9.
Wii U and 3DS are Generation 8.
The successor to both of those is the Switch. The Switch is Generation 9.
What is confusing people is that the Switch software isn’t Generation 9 just yet. Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 are Wii U ports. It would be like launching the SNES with NES ports.
PS4 and Xbox One were launched in 2013. They are four years old. Both consoles are reaching their climax. This is why Microsoft and Sony are putting out more hardware because they have no idea what to do for Generation 9.
Switch will confuse many people because it is the ONLY handheld console left. People keep trying to act like Switch is chasing PS4 or Xbox One. They couldn’t be more long. Switch is defining the market of Generation 9. It will be difficult for Sony, who has failed in the handheld space, to respond to the Switch.
3DS was launched in 2011.
Wii U was launched in 2012.
The average span for a generation is 5-6 years. Switch is definitely the Next Gen to 3DS and Wii U. No one can say otherwise without looking ridiculous (but when has that ever stopped the hardcore?).
Console generations are defined by time, not by ‘power’. The Switch is not more powerful than the PS4 or Xbox One not because it is ‘in their generation’, but because Switch offers handheld portability as its console value.
People have been trying to re-write the past for a decade now. Analysts were trying to get PlayStation 1 to be ‘Generation 1’ back in Gen 7 (which I am sure the NES and Sega Genesis came from the Land Before Time, yes?).
We are in a year long transition to Generation 9. At E3, Nintendo will show off their Gen 9 software.