“I feel like people never really understood the concept behind Wii U and what we were trying to do,” he says. “I think the assumption is we were trying to create a game machine and a tablet and really what we were trying to do was create a game system that gave you tablet-like functionality for controlling that system and give you two screens that would allow different people in the living room to play in different ways. …. Unfortunately, because tablets, at the time, were adding more and more functionality and becoming more and more prominent, this system and this approach didn’t mesh well with the period in which we released it.”
For me, it's undeniable there was a lack of consumer understanding around the Wii U. But I think this should have been mind-numbingly obvious from the get-go.
The Wii was an outerworldly success (in a pre-iPhone world anyway) because it was so dead simple to understand. The Wii Remote was a consumer friendly and non-intimidating interface. It looked largely like the remote control that anyone who has controlled a TV with is already familiar with, rather than a 'geeky' 16 button, mutiple analogue stick controller.
Absolutely none of those positives can be said when looking at this:
Also interesting is this, regarding the development of the Wii U's successor, codenamed 'NX':
Miyamoto’s involvement in the creation of the Wii is well known in the video game industry. But as the NX is being made, he says he’s taking a step back.
“I’ve pulled myself back out of some of the hardware section and I’m really focused on some of the software that I’m involved in—for example, the new Starfox game,” he says. “Of course I am observing and looking at the hardware, but I am not actively participating and making decisions.”