Whether you are a fan of Nintendo or not it's is obvious from sales figures that the first year of the Wii U was a major failure. Nintendo themselves have accepted the Wii U has not performed as well as they had hoped it would. Nintendo bosses have taken a major cut to their pay as a result of the poor performance.
As if poor sales and media reaction to the console weren't bad enough publishing giant EA have also dropped support for Nintendo's next generation console. This has been a major blow to Nintendo and is enough to have knocked the Wii U out of the console war for this generation. Without EA the Wii U gamers will not have access to many popular 3rd party games that will be on Sony and Microsoft's consoles, but does this really matter now?
It's safe to say the Wii U isn't going to be able to make a comeback to compete with the Ps4 and Xbox One but that doesn't mean its going to die out. The Wii U has become something different that can live separately alongside the other consoles without competing against them. The console war is a vicious battle where gamers will hate another human being simply because they don't like the same games console. If a video game is released exclusively for the Xbox One and turns out to be the next best thing to hit gaming Ps4 games will hate it no matter what just because it's not on the Ps4 but this no longer applies to Nintendo because they aren't in the war any more.
So what does this mean for the Wii U?
People hated on the Wii U for 2 main reasons, both of which related to the console war. The first was "hate by default", Playstation and Xbox gamers didn't like the Wii U because it was not the console they had chosen (Sad but true). The second reason was frustration with Nintendo for releasing a console that wasn't much of a hardware improvement over the Wii and had a "stupid" controller. Now that the Wii U is no longer part of the console war people no longer need to see it as competition and hate on it for the reasons above. Everyone likes to be part of an exclusive club, is that what the Wii U has become?
Nintendo might not be the best at packing their consoles with the most advanced hardware but they sure as hell make up for it with their development studios. Almost every new Mario game is released to critical acclaim. No one knows what sort of witchcraft they have to perform to make such constantly impressive games but the fact remains that there is almost always a new game to be released by Nintendo that is going to be great.
What makes the Wii U good?
The Wii U is going to become a completely different gaming experience from the PS4 and Xbox One. Nintendo exclusive games are nearly always great fun to play with friends. They aren't too challenging and focus more on being happy and fun rather than making you want to punch the face off the 14 year old who is kicking your ass in a multiplayer match. The Wii U has a much better online infrastructure than the first Wii console. This will give gamers a much better chance to play games with friends or others online which maintains the "fun to play with others" attitude Nintendo seem to have with a lot of their games.
Gaming media might have you believing that the Wii U is a useless console but when you look at the console without comparing it to the competition it actually isn't that bad of a system. It might be a little expensive at the moment but if Nintendo can drop the price below 300 it will become a much more appealing investment. The biggest feature that makes the Wii U cool is the controller makes it a portable console. Supported games can be output completely to the controller meaning you don't need the TV to play it. This is almost the same as Remote Play that Sony has with the PS Vita. The screen on the Wii U game pad might not be the 4k screen we all want it still gives gamers a portable experience with the power and functionality of a console. Another feature that has been completely erased with other consoles is backwards compatibility. The Wii U can play Wii games! There is no reason why you shouldn't trade your old Wii in for a Wii U.
The games are going to become the biggest selling point of the Wii U. Nintendo franchises like Mario and Zelda are always popular and in the past receive 9s and 10s across the board with critic reviews. The 2 biggest games out at the moment are Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze which currently has a score of 82 on Metacritic and Super Mario 3D World which got an amazing 93 on Metacritic! High scores like this are uncommon for any of the most popular franchises in gaming but Nintendo are able to do it just fine...and they are only getting started. We can expect a new Super Mario and Legend of Zelda game to be released in the near future.
I think that Nintendo might actually have a good future with the Wii U if they change their model. Its clear the Wii fad is dead so they aren't going to be selling the Wii U to the casual gamer. They need to try and make a console that has features and content that will appeal to the hardcore gamers in a way that offers an experience that they don't have and don't want with their PS4 or Xbox One.