The Wii, what can I say, I think Nintendo had the right idea. Nintendo can't afford 6 years selling consoles at loss, you know. It was to the point to if they should continue pleasing the core-audience they had to get money from another target-group as well since making games now is expensive as hell.
It sold, and it was the big thing, Nintendo made family games so they could get money to make Zelda, Mario and all that without too much pressure, what is not to love.
Now the problem was: Even though it does have a decent selection of exclusive games for those who dig deep, Nintendo played it a little too safe with the hardware in case the Wii wouldn't become a hit, so they could recover. Porting games was hard for 3rd party people, and shovel ware followed it like Ps2 before it.
And now the Wii-U, it may not become as popular, but Nintendo want to expand the Wii idea, and it seems promising so far, Sega, Valve, the La-Noire dudes and some other guys has taken interest, Friend-codes apparently gone, Miyamoto just said that Zelda-HD is indeed in works. And even if it is slightly above PS3 (though Miyamoto did contradict Iwata and a bunch of 3rd party people with that statement) it should be enough for most people in this day and age as two generation in row has proven. I don't doubt Ps4 and Next-box could be more powerful, but I also doubt Sony and Ms want to go back to selling at loss for awhile, considering the hack, Kinect and all that.
The point is that there isn't enough tech to justify a new generation jump, keep costs down to be competitive with 360 and PS3 at launch and not drive developers into more R&D/upscale asset creation costs after being assured by both Microsoft and Sony that there is plenty of life in this generation to go on.
This is a stop gap solution to gain back the core market and still retain all the things that the Wii was known for.
That was pretty much John Carmack's point.
I think Nintendo is very aware that in three or at most four years they will have another new system out. They won't say that until 2013 e3, but I would expect Wii U to cost $250 next year and have a very small life span. A year after PS4 comes out Nintendo will launch another system. The question will be, will they match PS4 or will they intentionally be a half step behind again?
You know, the reason Nintendo didn't go all out back in 2006 is because PS3 and 360 didn't give profit for the longest time, those consoles have just started net them some money. That's why I don't think MS and Sony will release another one soon, and if they do, the jump would not be as big. That's why Nintendo won't go much higher than Ps3 I think, it would be bad business move as already demonstrated this gen. Also if they went too far ahead now, Nintendo could be in a opposite situation than with the WII: Too expensive developing for when there are two other cheaper consoles.
Man, just what the hell is Nintendo thinking these days? Everything since the E3 press conference has been a complete and utter mess.
Not really, Nintendo has been very open with things they're allowed to say for now. Also keep in mind that people often misunderstand what the Nintendo guys are saying.
As a Nintendo fan I'm used to them holding the cards close, they deliver in the end. If it is this strange announcement you're talking about, Iwata already said it wasn't started developing yet, furthermore: this was how Brawl was announced too.