There is a strong rumor going around that come E3, Nintendo's next system, the Wii U, will have a new name. Why? Well mainly because of the 3DS. Not surprisingly, part of the issue with the less than projected sales of Nintendo's newest handheld is the perception that it's merely yet another iteration of the DS only with a flashy new gimmick rather than it being an actual new system. And really, who can blame the general public? There are no less than 3 types of DS systems out right now, if I go into a store without prior knowledge, it'd be hard for me to tell the difference just looking at boxes. And though it would have more to do with the presentation, there is still a pretty big amount of confusion as to what Wii U is exactly. And again the average consumer just looking at boxes (especially at big box stores where associates tend to be either unavailable or poorly informed themselves) might have a hard time differentiating two consoles with only a letter between them.
So should Nintendo rename the Wii U? I think it's not a terrible idea, it could be as simple as naming it something that truly identifies as the next step like Wii 2. It admittedly might be important to identify it as still being a Wii so the casual consumer that gobbled it up last time can just look at it and know that's the continuation. A completely different name can obviously work as well but it would have to be marketed properly, probably with a stronger emphasis that it's from Nintendo, the makers of the Wii rather than the system itself depending on what audience they are striving to reach. Clearly Nintendo is making a lot of steps to draw in more core gamers with finally implementing a seemingly coherent online network, HD gaming and a controller that while unique, also has more traditional features like dual analog, so to emphasize that an entirely different name may be a better idea.
In all honesty, I doubt there's a whole ton of truth to this rumor. When "The Revolution" was officially unveiled as "Wii" pretty much everyone scoffed and thought no one would possibly want to buy anything with that name and yet it's the dominant console this generation. The Wii U with a good marketing strategy and strong launch will do the same regardless of how ridiculous some think the name is.
That's it for today, I should hopefully get another post up tomorrow or Sunday. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Congress Chainsaw