News Article

Nintendo May Not Call Wii U a Home Console

Posted by James Newton

A rose by any other name

When we saw Wii U at E3, we were pretty certain it was a console. We even saw people playing it in a home-style setting. So it's a home console, right? Wrong.

Talking to investors after the latest financial results, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata suggested the company won't refer to it as a traditional home console:

As for the Wii U, although this system is categorized in the general video game description of a home console system, the play styles the company is proposing with the Wii U are not limited to the ones which are available only in front of TV sets, so I believe that we will not use the term “home console system” for this hardware.

What else could Nintendo call it? Answers on a postcard, which we're now going to call "photomail".


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User Comments (116)



Megumi said:

.......For a minute there I actually thought they were gonna make the controller a handheld system. xD



Cipher said:

I recall them saying at E3 they weren't calling it a home console, but I can't remember the name they banded around... all I see in the E3 press releases is "Wii U console". Meh.



NintyMan said:

It's a hybrid of handheld and home, so how about a handhome console?

It must not be a traditional home console to take the game completely off the TV screen onto a controller one.



JayArr said:

This reminds me of when Prince changed his name into a symbol and then completely fell into obscure oblivion. I keep getting the feeling that Nintendo is one weird move away from being considered a complete joke instead of pioneers.



DarkKirby said:

This is just some marketing gimmick. Like how large screen smartphones are "tablets". Giving it a unique description to make it stand out more.



SkywardLink98 said:

Well, the controller can't be to far from the actual console, so maybe it could have a battery in the system (A rechargeable one) so you could play it without a TV like in a car or something? (Though a lot of cars have TVs)



SigourneyBeaver said:

Wouldn't it be cool if you could download an app that could run on an iPhone or Android phone and allow some kind of interaction with the Wii U?



Malkeor said:

I appreciate Nintendo trying everything differently and thinking differently, even going so far as naming and calling things differently for the whole sake of being different and new.....but Nintendo's still a home console. It's just gotten a bit silly now.



Ryno said:

It's not a home console. That is just so boring. Instead Nintendo is going to go back to their video game roots by referring to as an Entertainment System!



Jr-Joe said:

This is what I think will happen, the Wii U controller will be portable. The Wii U controller will have limited functionality outside of the home(only music, small games and apps, video), but will need to be synced with the console in order to play more resource demanding games, upload/download data, and browse the web. The Wii U console will be the Wii U controller's only wireless gateway. I think the final design will be less clunky, therefore being easier to carry around.



dizzy_boy said:

i remember one of my friends saying nintendo should market their next console as the Perfect Nintendo Entertainment System or PNES for short.



Noire said:

Referring to it as an Entertainment System would give me warm nostalgic fuzzies, but was that phrase ever associated with the Japanese versions of those two consoles?



Azooooz said:

I'll think I'll buy 2 Wii U's, One for home and one for the work (jk)

But really, this console has become an all-purpose console.



Kirk said:



I've been saying they should go back to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) moniker for some time now.

That would be beyond cool.



Ryno said:

@Phoenixborn: In Japan it was the Famicom Disk System so at least they can go back to calling a System. Would that be enough to give you those fuzzies you have been missing?



wakanabi said:

It would be really cool if the controllers had wifi capability, so if you're at a hotel or anywhere really you could turn the controller on, remotely power on your Wii U system that's synced to the controller and play full games from anywhere....



bonesy91 said:

it's the first home + portable all in one

Nintendos new Portahome console. Buy one now, buy two!



jpcline004 said:

Wii Entertainment System
But the "S" is written as a 2 so it can be marketed as "WE 2'



New_3DaSh_XL said:

@4 lol for a minute i thought it was gonna b like arcade style because its not home...silly me



Massimo said:

It's meant to be used as the perfect gaming TABLET! Every game will be playable on the controller screen, that's the main feature of the new console I reckon.



Geonjaha said:

Well gaming devices always fall under either home or portable, so it has to be one or the other despite what they'd like to call it.



Punny said:

It's just a console. Whether it's home or portable is up to you. Why? It's both.



CerealKiller062 said:

So, if I buy a Wii U (Or whatever it may be called). I May be able to get both a portable and a home device! Oh happy days are in front of me. Just give me a moment, I need to go lie down and think about how good life is getting for me. T.T



Scissors said:

So it's an Enterainment System, may they should call it the Nintendo Enterainment System. It's got a nice ring to it.



Megumi said:

Maybe the Wii U itself will have a screen attachment, and batteries and everything so you can play it on the go! xD



Azooooz said:

Imagine, Sonic Adventure Collection HD ( Sonic Adventure and SA2B) game on Wii U

I'll buy it without thinking twice



NinjaMario said:


I mean who the #&!$ really cares what they call it. Really. Home console, not a home console? Who gives a d--n?



drumsandperc92 said:

it's still a home console. the console is going to have to be plugged in and on in order to stream to the controller which i imagine can only be so far away. Therefore, the console must be in the home, and the player with the controller must also be in the home, albeit not necessarily in front of the tv, but still in the home.
It's a home console.
Nintendo, I love you, but sometimes you just try to hard & overcomplicate things.



StarDust4Ever said:

Technically not a home console, as mom and dad can always plug the Wii-U into a 12V power inverter for their car, and use their wireless phone carrier to create a WiFi hotspot, and little Johnny can happily play Wii-U games to his heart's content on the tablet. I'd just hate to think what happens to little Jonny's Mario Kart 8 VR rating when they're on vacation driving through the Rocky Mountains and hit that wireless "dead zone."

"Hey Johnny, you're missing the Grand Canyon!"
but alas, Johnny is too busy launching Blue Spinies to care anymore...



Raylax said:

...Nintendo seems to have misinterpreted 'home' as meaning 'a televison.' As far as I'm aware the Wii U tablet isn't portable, insofar as you still need to be in range of the console to use it. So it can still only be used in the home. So thereby, still a home console.



Knuckles said:

I think the Entertainment System brands were good, and still make good names. Also @James Romeo and Juliet reference for the tagline?



MeloMan said:

WiiU is a home-portable console. Done. Meant for home, but can been played "around" the home, not just in front of your TV. But not free enough like the 3DS to take out and away from the house.



MitchVogel said:

If you notice, the controller uses slide pads, not analog sticks. They did that so you can shove it in a backpack or take it with you and the analog sticks won't stick out and get in the way. The controller will have some limited functionality away from the console.



Henmii said:

"Nintendo May Not Call Wii U a Home Console"

I call it a home console anyway! I will play it in front of my television! And as far as I know it only works INSIDE your house, so yes it's a home console!



theasiangamer20 said:

The wii U isn't that bad for a home console but i think that the wii made great progress as a home console...i hope more games come out for the wii u and i heard that battlefield or dynasty warriors is going to be put on it.



ecco6t9 said:

Tablet System.

As long as Wii games can stream to the Wii U screen I am happy.



Capt_N said:

@C-Olimar: Nintendo is actually considering that.

According to a CNet article, the next Xbox(supposedly due next fall) will be 6x more powerful than the 360, & roughly 20% more powerful than what the Wii U is supposed to have. Whatever this system's main feature is, Nintendo better make it unique enough, so that if Sony/MS copy, Nintendo will still have the advantage.

I'm w/ the group that says the main feature of this will be pseudo-wireless gaming via the controller, though obviously the extent of wireless range(read: in/dependence on proximity to the console) is up in the air now.



Omenapoika said:

The label of "home console" indicates that you need a room for playing: to house the console itself, to have a media for video and audio output, provide the electricity and make it comfortable to play it.

Apparently the issue about Wii U not being a home console is the portable screen with it's own power source. I suppose this could be called hybrid or dual media console or something on the same lines...



Ren said:

I'm with the people who say it'll have some mobile functions, I can't see why they wouldn't try that but whatever those things are that run mobile better be great or it'll be a laughing-stock. They need to partner with an e-book distributor and have some great basic apps if they want to play that game, or at least have a ton of great Virtual console games that it can run on it's own, that would also be a great selling point (all the wii download library that's out there now would do it)



Nintenderp said:

If a console is meant to be played in a household and can only function in a household, I believe it should be called a home console.



KingMike said:

They already told us you can't even play it while sitting on your toilet.
How can it be a portable?



Classclown said:

@KingMike lol, your funny

But seriously if it does go mobile, you probably can take it far in the forest if the Wii U has controller 3G network, a possibility



Vincent294 said:

@MattEriks Couldn't agree more. Call of Duty MW3/Goldeneye in my room VS my bro in the living room. Now he can't see the top half of the TV to figure out where I'm sniping.



Tornado said:

Y'know, I'm a Nintendo fan, for sure, and I don't want to rush to judgment. But as of late it does kinda seem like the wheels are coming off of their judgment (e.g., the second 3DS circle pad). I kinda wonder if some of the corporate leadership is past its prime and needs some shakeup. But I'm totally willing to be surprised once more details about Wii U appear.



alLabouTandroiD said:

The Guiness World Record for the Balance Board must have gotten to their heads. Now they’re just making up their own categories to be the best selling handhome (good one @NintyFan(7.)) / whatever console ever. So far.

As long as it doesn’t have Wii in its name you can call it whatever you like, Nintendo. If it’s good enough the categorization doesn’t matter as much as you might think.
It’s interesting to hear about these thoughts though and a good term might help in shifting a few consoles. Just keep in mind that a term like portable home console might confuse people if you can only use the controller in a housewide range. And don't forget to make the system the best it can be instead of spending too much time on sideshows.

@Eureka(1.): Same here, I was totally prepared to be shocked.
@Ryno(20.): Good idea.
@Massimo(42.): I hope not. WiiMotion Plus is still a better control method for many games imo.
@JayArr(10.) & @SliM(41.):



CowLaunch said:

So they're making the 3DS less portable with the Circle Pad Pro, and declaring Wii U a non-home console. Interesting.



Mok said:

Nintendo is clearly looking for new and innovative ways of digging their own grave. Why not just call it .. uhm.. a Shreg. That's right, it's a Shreg!

Iwata should stand on the podium in boxer shorts, talking to the masses of greedy investors, declaring the new device is called -A SHREG-!

No, it's not an acronym and it might possibly mean something more than "Wii U" but that's for Iwata to know and us to find out. In the future when Nintendo releases new, innovative, Mario games to their SHREG there could be easter eggs with clues to the console's name, making people thirst and hunger for more.



aaronsullivan said:

I see a bunch of talk about the controller being standalone. Nope.

I'm 99.9% sure it won't do anything out of range of the console except the most simple of display info that could be stored on a cheap embedded chip.

There will be nothing in there accept a sub processor to decode a wireless video stream and the usual bluetooth controller stuff that all controllers already have for sending the control info back. It will probably encode the camera info for the return trip as well. It will be hardcoded to do just that and won't have a general purpose processor, much less a graphics card that can do any polygon processing. That's all in the Wii U console.

So, the misinformed conclusions about the controller in here have given a good indication that Nintendo needs to be careful how they brand the idea of not-just-another-home-console. It's also a tablet for around the home. That's the pitch, I'd think. Not sure how to present that, but I LOVE the idea of calling it an ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM again. Perfect way to stir up good feelings from the core crowd they want to get back that used to love the NES and SNES, imo.

How to integrate Entertainment System with the word Wii? Not so sure. Wii Entertainment System is fine, but doesn't sound like a NEW system so much. Have fun Nintendo marketing department!



miletich3 said:

Okay. Now I'm confused. Why not call it a game console if Nintendo's purpose is video games, huh!

If Nintendo's really thinking of something else, how about at most changing its name to Ultra NES or maybe H-Wii (since Wii U's gonna be an HD console like X360 and PS3).



Edwrd said:

I guess you can bring the console anywhere there is an electrical outlet to play on the controller's screen, although its not a portable, can you use that controller solely as a screen while you use the Wiimote to play say Metroid: Other M?



bezerker99 said:

I read the title of the article and got excited briefly. I thought it was gonna read, "Nintendo May Not Call Wii U the Wii U". /dang



Highwinter said:

This is hardly surprising. Microsoft and Sony have been trying to push their consoles more and more as multimedia platforms, the next generation will be geared towards that even more.



asoccerstar43 said:

the one thing is that if these contollers are going to be so hardware packed and i wanted to play with two remotes that would be alot of money



TimboBaggins said:

Simple - you can play the games without a TV. Like someone can buy the system, plug it into the wall, and play on the controller. Hi res graphics, no HDTV needed. That seems like it would appeal to lower end customers



North99 said:

Can we just call it Nintendo's Newest Marketing Scam? Nintendo should have just accepted death peacefully years ago.



TheGreenSpiny said:

Wow, it's funny seeing people making a mountain out of a mole. Do companies actual use the term "home console" on their boxes? What the hell is with this $h!% storm?

@108: Why would they die when they are on top?



LordTendoboy said:

I'm getting flashbacks to when the NES was released. Nintendo refused to call it a "video game system" at the time because of the negative perception that video games had received after the Crash of 1983 ("it was just a fad").

The current situation isn't the same as back then, but I still found it amusing.



GrooseMarioFan said:

How 'bout they call it a "Tablet Consle"? So you would have your handhelds, your home consles, and your tablet consles. I know, I'm a genius.



Debageldond said:

This is pure silliness. More BS marketing by Nintendo. We live in an increasingly integrated world, but it's still a console. Smartphones are essentially portable computers with less power and a less versatile UI, but they are still phones first and foremost. Likewise, even the PS3, which is the most "integrated" of the three main consoles, is still a video game playing platform (read: console) before anything else.

I am probably more loyal to Nintendo than any other company, but I can smell their marketing BS thousands of miles away. Will the Wii U be cool? I'm sure. Will it be a lot of fun? Absolutely. Will it fulfill the needs of most hardcore Nintendo fans, myself included? I'd be surprised if it didn't. But will it CHANGE THE WAY WE PLAY GAMES AND EVEN THINK OF GAMING??!?!?! Absolutely not, sorry. Now, it might add a new feature or ten like Nintendo's consoles usually do ("usually" being directed at the Gamecube), but let's be realistic here: it's a console, and a damn good-looking one.



The_Ink_Pit_Ox said:

Here's what might be the case:

The tablet thingy will act like a handheld, but will be interactive with the main system. The main system will display on the tablet, the TV, or both. This will make the Wii U able to be interactive even when you're not in the same room (a la cloud). It might even be connectible with the 3DS.

Stop technology, I want to get off.

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