Well usually they are planning their next handheld and console way in advance. It could be interesting if they did that for their NX Handheld and console. However I hope these aren't cheap buttons, d pads or analog sticks.
Reading through this again I didn't catch that the modules are all NFC-based the first time around. That might make a big difference in viability of such a thing as I feel part of the reason they don't do it is that the parts aren't durable enough and metal contacts are likely to get scuffed or damaged if they keep sliding in and out.
I'd like to have something like this. There could be a "standard" layout for developer use, and if we the people wanna switch stuff to a particular place, the only difference is the placement of those buttons, but B will still be B.
This would actually have been a great idea for all the 2D games, especially the Yoshi's Island games. I hope this patent gets applied, because it is the only alternative to the Nintendo 64 configuration that actually is comfortable for both, 2D and 3D. And the N64 configuration certainly is not applicable to a handheld.
Seriously though.... Nintendo needs to bring back the gameboy name. The only reason why we don't have new gameboys is because the third pillar turned out to be made of solid gold... Nothing wrong with the previous one made of marble!