i think they can not ignore the path the competition is going.
More integration between the software with dedicated hardware. Native Instruments is pushing very hard in that direction (see the new “komplete” keyboards, and ableton a bit in the same direction with their push.) and with success it seems.
So my guess is that they will go for:
1/ better and more functionalities and sounds for the Sonic SE integrated within cubase, (quick and at a very low cost since it exists) and a huge overhaul of their sonic and full halion engines with a few new synth macro’s and maybe a new engine too.
2/ Next guess is that system link will be dropped (few users and the need of multiple dongles) and network hosting will be made available to link multiple computers onto a single cubase. (like VEP and FX) At the same time they will be able to move the vst instrument environment to a server based host that will integrate flawlessly with the main program, and thus overcoming the problems they have with the asio-performance and uneven core handling. (in compatison with vienna and cockos)
3/ Next guess is that Yamaha will kick in and help them with some yamaha/nuage/steinberg/nuendo/cubase compatible and highly integrated hardware. (not only mixers, but keyboards and other instrument hardware interfaces)
4/ And the days of the dongle are over as a last guess. A new licensing system will be presented because the dongle is too often a hassle and consumer unfriendly.
Let’s hope the crystel sphere i was watching will become reality.