The Wii-u (hahahaha) it is not only the most stupidly named console, but the only console who have being announced so far for the next generation and the only one with a release window (sometime this year). But behold, he is not immune from rumors. Part of the problem is that we know very few things about it. Basically, only that will come with a tablet-controller lovechild, will not run DVDs and Blu-rays and it is made by Nintendo.
Nintendo, by the way, seem very keen on not revealing the system specs. Damn, we aren't even sure if it the console will be able to accept more than one tablet-controller. it just shows that Nintendo are putting all their eggs in the tablet thing, like they put all their eggs in motion controls with the Wii. And that leaves to much room for speculation.
Since we have no idea of pricing, we all assume that the Wii-U would be, at least, more powerful than the PlayStation 3 and the 360. Guess what? If the rumors are true, it isn't as powerful as them. Sure, it may do somethings better, as it have newer components. But being just like current gen consoles is not a good thing for gamers.
Nintendo is probably aiming at price here. Launching a console who will be able to compete now with the PS3 and 360 and later, in terms of price, with the PS4 and NextBox (or whatever Microsoft my call it). By keeping the Wii-u (hahaha) cheap, they expect doing the same trick again. Sell a cheap hardware with innovative gameplay to people who aren't that much into games.
But can it work? I have my doubts. Smartphones and tablets have touch-screen games. The PS Vita and 3DS too. Will possible consumers be enthralled with the possibility of playing like this at home? I am not sure, but it seems unlikely. Having to move your eyes from console to TV all the time doesn't seem to be fun. And paying to have an experience easier to find elsewhere is not likely to attract people. The Wii did well because you didn't have any other option for motion controlled games.
See, the Wii had no equal at his launch. But the Wii-U (hahaha) have. It is easier to sell something new to people, but harder to sell something similar. Nintendo needs to show to the Wii owners and to potential new consumers how better is to play with their machine instead of a tablet or a PS3/360.
And that leaves the veteran gamers. Nintendo fans will buy it no matter what. They are fans of Mario and Zelda and will play them wherever Nintendo put them. But gamers who are not huge fans of Nintendo will hardly be interested in a machine who play games the same way the current machines they already own and their friends are playing in. So, Nintendo will hardly get those players if the machine is, as rumored, not even in equal foot with the current gen.
So, Nintendo's future, if the rumors are true, is not as bright as it seems. Or Nintendo can surprise everyone and accomplish success once again. But I am not betting in it until they reveal prices and specs.