Robert Maxwell wrote:
That's not really true. The gimmick helped, but the Wii's success wasn't based solely or even mostly on that. Instead, it succeeded largely due to price and appeal to more casual gamers. It's the "family console," and had a lot of games designed to be played by up to four people. Sony and Microsoft had the hardcore market locked up between them, so Nintendo wisely went after an entirely different demographic. It paid off big time for them.
They don't seem to be modifying that strategy substantially this generation, either, they've just added some more social features, new peripherals, and somewhat better graphics hardware. They're still going after the cost-conscious casual market.
The Wii sold like gangbusters (and then proceeded to collect dust in most people's closets once the novelty wore off) due to motion controls that appeal to those who are intimidated by a controller with a dozen buttons. So what does Nintendo do for a sequel? Release a system that features a controller with a dozen buttons and a screen and barely even advertise the fact that this is an entirely new system and not an add-on for the Wii. I don't have much faith in the WiiU garnering anywhere near the level of sales that the Wii did just because it's not as accessible to casuals.
As for handhelds, even though I absolutely loathe touchscreen gaming with the fire of a thousand suns, I think the Vita and the 3DS are in for a world of hurt from iOS and Android devices in the next few years.