Ever since the Wii U was announced last year there has been plenty of mockery of its hardware and even more so, its name. I agree that it is a weird choice, especially for Nintendo which hasn’t made a “sequel” home console since NES/SNES, though they have done it with portable game systems since their inception. The gaming market has changed and they need to change with it.
Wii U has already become regularly compared to the spoof film Kung Pow, as it sounds so similar to the Ling Ling’s ridiculous crying. I do think many of the detractors of the name and the system in general can’t see the reasoning behind the naming decision or they probably don’t care. Its all about marketing.
The original Wii was an innovative system that brought in countless of casual gamers and all but abandoned the core gaming audience, since Nintendo couldn’t seem strike harmony between the two groups as they had managed to do with the DS. So, it was this casual audience they had to recapture with the Wii U as well, and since Soccer Moms don’t follow gaming news as closely as any of us, they would likely just see a new box with “Nintendo” and “HD Graphics!” on it and feel it might not be for them. But, if they see the immediately recognizable Wii logo they will either think the Wii U is a new accessory for their current Wii or perhaps just see it as an upgrade they have come to expect with the DS series of consoles.
So, while it may be helping to keep that brand recognition it may also confuse the least informed consumers into thinking its just a shinier version of what they already own with some tablet included in the box, especially with the continued use of the ‘wiimotes’. This is why I felt that naming it something more sequential with a bit of playfulness may help in those situations. Motion controls tacked on to other gaming platforms have been call me-too ideas, so why not call the next Wii: Wii Too.
I’m sure even Nintendo can come up with some clever marketing to use the new name, though now it would hint at it being the successor to the original Wii, as the U added nothing.
What do you think, did you have an idea for what the next gen NIntendo console could be called?