Wii U getting a name change as a result of poor Nintendo earnings?

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Video game giant Nintendo released financial numbers for the 9 months ending in December 2011, and the news wasn't at all good. Remember back in October when the company predicted an annual operating loss of ¥20 billion? Turns out things are much worse, and its new prediction is a ¥45 billion (~$575 million).

Sales aren't meeting expectations anywhere in the Nintendo product line: the forecast for Wii sales have been cut from 12 million to 10 million, for the 3DS the forecast went from 16 million to 14 million, and for the DS the cut was from a forecast of 6 million to 5.5 million. [Sources: Reuters, Kotaku]

There's some good news, though. Nintendo has confirmed that their new home console will be out by the holidays in Japan, Australia, Europe and the US. I'm being deliberately vague about the name here. Last year at E3 Nintendo announced it as the Wii U, a name that didn't exactly excite most gamers.

Now Nintendo is reconsidering the name, according to CVG. It seems like Nintendo is concerned that people won't realize the Wii U is an entirely new console, and will just think it's a variant of the Wii they already own. This is apparently a problem the company is facing with the 3DS handheld; casual consumers think it's just a new version of the DS and so don't pay any attention to it.

Hey, whatever the reason I think a new name is in order, particularly if Nintendo wants to break the new console out of the "casual gamer" category it initially succeeded so well in (but seems to have saturated). Last year at E3 it seemed like Nintendo wanted to attract the 'core gamers' to its new system: a name change can only help with that.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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