The rumors and announcements surrounding the upcoming release of Nintendo’s next console, the Wii U are coming more and more frequently these days, and show no signs of stopping. But the most recent report isn’t concerned with the official holiday 2012 launch, and may come as absolutely no surprise to some gamers. Nintendo is seeking to avoid many of the marketing blunders experienced with the 3DS, with apparently a possible Wii U name change being considered.
Hearing that the somewhat controversial name of the next console may be changed to make the system more appealing is less than shocking. After the system was unveiled at last year’s E3 and gave gamers a brand name to replace that of ‘Project Cafe,’ to say that the new title was a surprise would be an understatement. While Nintendo claimed to be evolving to recapture the hardcore audience, keeping the Wii label seemed to imply otherwise.
Since then the news surrounding the Wii U has gotten much more positive, with the past few weeks bringing news of hardware twice as powerful as Xbox 360, and Nintendo finally making the right steps for online play with The new Nintendo Network. Still, you can’t understate the importance of a great name and look – a white hard drive isn’t exactly ‘bold’ – and apparently Nintendo agrees.
That’s according to CVG, who claim that “sources close to the platform holder” are suggesting that those in charge of the console’s success are already second-guessing their choice of titles:
“serious discussions are ongoing at the highest level in the US and Japan as to whether the firm should cut its losses and give the console a different name.”
The sudden shift in thinking is tied to the confusion and underwhelming response received with the release of the Nintendo 3DS last year. Apparently adding a single letter or number to an existing product name doesn’t exactly convince consumers that the device truly is ‘the next generation,’ which is a fair argument to make.
Since more and more details seem to emphasize just how different the Wii U will be from its predecessor, coming up with a completely new name isn’t such a bad idea. Nintendo is far from worried about their current share of the gaming marketplace, but there’s no reason to leave potential obstacles intact. With remaining concerns over just how many third party games will support the Wii U, it’s in the company’s best interest to convince the world that this console really is a change to the formula.
What do you think of a possible re-branding for the Wii U? Any potential ideas that you’ve come up with or heard in the past that you thought were better than putting a ‘u’ on the end? Leave us your ideas in the comments.
We’ll keep you updated when Nintendo either comments on this report, or announces a name change for the Wii U.
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