Nintendo’s Wii U might not be called the Wii U

After suffering a mountain of confusion and complaints, Nintendo appears to be ready to re-brand its next-generation console entirely.

The Wii successor was first unveiled at last year’s E3 trade show, but even among those who saw it first-hand, there was some confusion. Nintendo focused on the innovative system’s controller, but didn’t even mention the actual console itself. We didn’t see a box, we didn’t hear about technical specs. To some, it almost seemed like the Wii U might just be a Wii with a new controller.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who was the one on stage when the new system was revealed, would later go on to say that although he didn’t believe there were any flaws in the presentation, he should have at least shown a picture of the Wii U system at the outset.

Iwata, who did a whirlwind of interviews at E3, told other reporters he was at a loss for words as to why investors reacted negatively to the Wii U, driving Nintendo’s stock price down – something that almost never happens when a video game company introduces a new piece of hardware.

So now there’s a report that Nintendo is thinking of changing the Wii U name, no doubt because it has so much attachment to that confusing E3 unveiling. In addition, the name “Wii U” doesn’t really live up to Nintendo’s recent naming history. The Super Nintendo became the Gamecube, which became the Wii. For multiple generations, Nintendo console names have been drastically different from one another.

It’s similar to the identity crisis now plaguing the 3DS. Nintendo created the Nintendo DS, the DS Lite, the DSi, and the DSi XL, and considers all of those to be the same device. The name “3DS” seems to fit into that same mix and as such, it is struggling to find its own identity. Nintendo of course wants to prevent this same problem from creeping up with the Wii’s successor.