Nintendo Wii U: Nintendo Explain Why They Called Their Next Home Console Wii U

Katsuya Eguchi, one of Nintendo’s famed designers has explained to Edge why the company decided to call its successor to the Wii, Wii U. One of the main reasons for naming it Wii U is that the console is a natural progression from the Wii and includes features that the design team were unable to accomplish on Wii.

How important was it that Wii U was related to the original Wii, and that ‘Wii’ was in its name?
There are actually several reasons for us wanting to make Wii U part of the Wii family, to make that connection. in hindsight, looking at Wii U and its features we realised that there were also things [with Wii] that we weren’t able to accomplish with that system, that we would have liked to see in it. Wii U is kind of the natural progression in looking at what we did, how we changed gaming. This is the next logical step for us and we wanted to convey that in the name. in addition to that there are many Wii users out there – and we are very appreciative of this – who invested in lots of peripherals, such as more Remotes, balance boards, Classic Controllers, and they can continue to use these peripherals with Wii U as well. We wanted to make sure they understood that.



  1. It’s nice that we can use our old add-ons, but I hope they make a better Classic Controller and Zapper! (If we even need a new classic controller in place of the new controller)

    1. Have you tried the newest Classic controller? It’s the same one as the one that came with 007 Goldeneye for the Wii, but it isn’t gold. Better shape, and a LOT more comfortable in your hand.

        1. This article doesn’t even mention the reasoning behind the U part of Wii U. That’s what they explained at E3. Wii was for “we”, as in “us”. Wii U is for “you”. It’s suppose to be a much more personal and immersive experience, Hence the handheld-esque element of the new controller with built in screen.

  2. I still think it’s a terrible decision. A lot of people will be confused by the name and think that the console is no new generation platform, but some sort of wii 1.2

    1. Well, “Unreal Engine 3” differed from “Unreal Engine 2” in terms of simply changing a number, but the differences between the two in terms of power were astronomical. They could refer to the Wii u as Wii 0.00001 X 10^-10, but as long as it totally eclipses its predecessor (which it already does), it doesn’t matter what they call it.

      1. Keep in mind that the major people who would be making sales high would be the casual crowd. The people who dont pay attention to gaming sites. Those people would go “but I already have a wii, why would I need the wii u?”, or “son you already have a DS, and the only thing on the 3DS is the 3D”, two obviously false statements. I think they dont want to be “DSi”ed again. Needs more brand differention. I think if nintendo had just kept it at the lite, that would be a different story though.

    2. I agree to an extent, because most non hardcore gamers don’t understand the difference between generations, and so they’ll just see it as a Wii upgrade, but at the same time, the main (important) gamers who are true to gaming and Nintendo, will know its the next generation console and won’t matter what it’s called, since it’ll be new, innovative and have a whole set of new games to enjoy, plus the added bonus of being able to play Wii games on it, with the old Wii remotes.

    3. See PS1, PS2, PS3

      Also see Xbox, Xbox 360

      and DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSiXL, 3DS

      and NES, SNES

      or even iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 5…?

      You get the idea so I think ppl will get it too lol.

      1. fair enough, but I still prefer to good old days when it was NES SNES N64 Gamecube then Wii, where it was basicly a brand new name and console each time (apart from NES/SNES but you know what I mean)

  3. For me is fine. The next generation in gaming is not more impressive way just to beautiful realistic graphics; nor the motion controls… But the full virtual reality… Not just a helmet with visors inside, but a system capable of interact with our brain or senses in order to make a whole new experience. That’s my point of view.

    1. And to think 50 some years ago they thought we’d all have flying cars. See you in the year 3000 lol.

    2. ^ This will not happen in our lifetime.

      Of course, if it does, I’ll be the first one on my block to buy it, even if it costs as much as a house. I’ve dreamed of true virtual reality for over a decade. ^_^

    1. Playstation Vita is a handheld, where the Wii U is a full-blown home console. There’s really no comparison. That’s like saying; “The XBox 360 will be SO MUCH better than the DS”

      But if it’s the interaction between the Vita and the PS3 that you mean, and how “Wii-Uish” it is, then I agree. This system will be LOADS better than that.

      1. I think he was getting at the fact both were unveiled at E3 2011, and some people were saying the Vita stole the Wii U’s thunder. I agree with the you guys – the Wii U will make a MUCH bigger splash than PS Vita, which’ll go nearly unnoticed.

        1. The Vita is getting praised by everyone and is getting a lot of hype, while pretty much only Nintendo fanboys are excited about the WiiU because they’re finally catching up to the rest of the modern world and going HD. I’m sure the Vita will be huge.

          1. I dont think so, I mean, if anything Vita will Promote PS3 sales, lol, I mean come on, HD screen and such? i Have an android that does that. and the games coming on the vita are dumbed down Versions of the PS3, Uncharted? come on u cant say u can have the “movie” experience on that small screen in comparison to a 40+ hd television. Vita will sell a bit, then it will slump down once evry1 realizes, its just not that awesome. (that and a monthly price for 3g along with the price i pay for my current phones, the 3g version will sell very little in my eyes.)

      2. “Playstation Vita is a handheld, where the Wii U is a full-blown home console. There’s really no comparison. That’s like saying; ‘The XBox 360 will be SO MUCH better than the DS'”

        Tell that to the PS3 fanboys lol.

        1. I’m a pretty big PS3/Sony fanboy and I know the difference. Also I don’t bash on any of the other systems. I won’t be buying the Vita anytime soon after it’s release, I’m not a handheld fan. Now Wii U I will be buying just because I’ve always liked Nintendo and what they’ve done.

      3. But DS was much better than Xbox. DS had like every third party imaginable(EVERY), good games of every genre,loads of new IPs from those third parties, a load of indie games, and Nintendo first party support.

      1. Nintendo already confirmed there will be no GC support (controllers, memory cards, games, etc). However, it is rumored that the GC games will join the virtual console / wiiuware or whatever.

  4. nintendo has been coming up with shitty names the past few years, i mean if u really look at what DS means 3DS doesnt make any sense at all “3 Duel Screens”? “3 Dimensional Screen”? the latter is probably right since there isnt 3 screens but DS means “Duel Screens”

    1. I think it’s more of a play on words than a direct acronym. I mean, over the years it was more just “DS” than “Dual-Screens”.

      Look at the DSi for example.

      They were just using a play on words, with the focus meant solely on the 3D and then the S to kind of remind you it is a new DS.

      As for your comment about shitty names, I disagree. Sure at first me and a lot of us I am sure think the names are ridiculous, but as time goes on, they sort of grow on you.

      I personally couldn’t imagine calling the Wii anything else at this point. Even the “Revolution”.

    2. DS means Developer System. Not Double Screen. At least… that’s what Reggie said at E3 (2005?)

    3. whats so shitty about 3DS? its a clever combination between 3D and DS.. its much more interresting than calling it DS2 or something like that!

    4. *Dual.
      It’s pretty freaking obvious that it’s playing on the “3D” and blending it with the former platforms name of “DS”. They share a common letter, so ninty used that to conjure the name “3DS”.
      You don’t have to be a freaking genius…

  5. Im still not that crazy about the name, but I guess you eventually get used to flimsy names, like Wii and… IPAD

  6. I like that. The Wii peripherals are great. They can give an amazing and deeper experience to gaming. And thinking about the pockets of costumers is a good way to see it. Plus, they don’t have to make more =)

  7. That’s a good reason, but I fear people won’t realise it’s a new console but just a peripheral. I hope they advertise big about this being a new console!

  8. one day we’ll finally get that badass “Nintendo Revolution” console we’ve all been wanting

    1. That was the Wii. Think about it, Nintendo basically gave birth to the new generation of gamers with that console. It would have been a bit presumptuous to name a console “The Revolution”.

      People would not by just because of that shitty name.And if you call something a revolution and then it does nothing, you look pretty stupid.I know that name puts me off.

    2. That’s a really dumb name. It reeks of geekiness that wishes to overcompensate for its insecurity. I hate it when people try to attach pretty ass words like “REVOLUCION” just to sound all powerful. The greatest form of self-confidence is never caring about what others will think of you.

  9. there’s a reason I hate reading the comment section here. it’s filled with a bunch of nintendo fanboys. smh the wii u is a horrible name yet some of u are actually backing nintendo up.

    1. We all know is horrible but its original, actually it means something. Some people say its the wii upgraded because it has the “wii” in it. So we can say de same for the play sation 1,2,3 xbox, xbox360 whats next?? Play station 4??? OMG THAAATS CLEVER
      Sorry for the english

      1. You said its original, but Playstation 1, 2 and 3 ISN’T?


        REALLY, BRO??

        Man, I hate you blind-fanboys. Go die in a fire.

        1. Sonyfanboy attacks!

          Go see the e3 presentation where they explain what the U means

          The playstation is a cool name i wont argue that but playstation 2, playstation 3??? Playstation 4???? Playstation portable is different but obvious de vita is different, also crappy name but also means something.
          Am not saying nintendo rules in giving names. Nes SNes N64 gamecube gameboy gameboycolor wii DS etc…
          But they are way better than nintendo 1 nintendo 2 nintendo 3 nintendo portable

        2. LOL it’s funny how your calling me a blind fanboy when I havent mentioned once that the name lacked “originality” I said the name was horrible. jeez this is what you get from nintendo fanboys.

    2. lml, its not horrible-horrible. i mean if they would of called it something like plain old nintendo or nintendo stream, or ultra nintendo (get it, its right after super nintendo) then i would of bin hyped. but come on, the consoles what matter, imo.

    3. You do realize it’s called “My Nintendo News” right?

      Look, they can call it whatever they want, I couldn’t care less. Nintendo can call it Playstation 4 and I’d still buy it. Names mean remotely nothing. The Wii had a poor name remember? All sorts of jokes about it after and some still being said to this day. A name is a name, I play it if has the games I like, not because it’s called something.

    4. wth? nobody is arguing with u about the name “wii u” being a horrible name what are u talking about!

    5. Because PS1 – 3 is such a better and more original name. Or Xbox 360. Did it ever occur to you that people can have opinions that are different than yours? And the irony is you are clearly a fanboy yourself. Yet you are on a Nintendo-only website? Genius.

      1. yea well atleast no ones making fun of the name ps3 or xbox 360 now are they? I’m pretty sure u thought the name was stupid when u first heard it.

          1. I never mentioned how the system bombed I only said that the name was horrible. jeez these nintendo fanboys need some real material to back themselves up.

        1. Playstation, a station you play at?
          Xbox, an extremely awesome box?
          Xbox 360, an added number to it’s name which symbolizes how “it’s meant for everyone”.
          Wii, a system that we can all enjoy and play together.
          Wii U, a system that we, you, or anybody can enjoy.
          People will get use the names, or they won’t but in the end that dosen’t really matter because people will buy the systems for the features, not the name. Every systems name is kinda cheesy in the long run.

  10. I believe the Wii u is gonna nuke the market. This console has the most control choices (except gamecube). Graphical update, new way to play, new interface, more existing ips. It’s just great, the name can attract existing Wii owners given the right price.

  11. To the comment above about the vita. Take a look at EGM and see what they’re impressions are on the vita. They weren’t too impressed with it.

  12. I still think they should have called it The Stream. Wii was backward compatible, but it didn’t need a name, and they should emphasize on the controller.

    1. I heard someone say that they’d be ok even if they shortened it to “Nintendo U”. I like this idea too.

    2. It sounds too tech-oriented. I think they wanted people to associate themselves easily with a brand that didn’t completely remind them of a company. That’s why they don’t just say “Nintendo Wii”, that’s why they call it “the Wii”. By omitting the “Nintendo” from the name, they make a product sound more everyday-ish and something that everyone can relate to, no matter what their backgrounds are. That IS the Nintendo essence here, folks; they don’t like ostracizing certain people from their games.

  13. Stupid explanation, sorry…
    It’s just explained why it’s still a “Wii” but what about the stupid U? Any explanation for this? No.

    1. This has already been explained and is obvious for those with common sense. You can think as the “U” meaning “You.” This implies it will cater to you, or the “core” gamer, for instance. But it’s also for everybody: Wii (We). It can also mean Utopian, in the words of Reggie :p

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