Kristan Reed at pocketgamer.biz:
On the basis of what it has shown to the world to date, there are lots of reasons for Nintendo to be cheerful. For a start, it's the only gaming system that can adequately combine legacy controls, with the modern touch, tilt and swipe controls of tablets and smartphones.
While Microsoft has the intriguing SmartGlass concept ready as a spoiler, and Sony has plans of its own by integrating the PS Vita more closely with the PS3, both present users (and developers) with plenty of issues.
SmartGlass might well offer users a useful touchscreen to browse maps and the like, but it's an either/or solution - you'll have to put down the controller to access it.Using a PS Vita as a controller for the PS3 (and potential second screen) has the greatest spoiler potential, but the installed base is so low, who's going to develop for it? Hardly anyone. As ever, it comes down to whatever the lowest common denominator is. Always.
With the Wii U, the presence of the tablet with its integrated physical controls means that every developer has free reign to make use of both the analogue sticks and buttons, as well as calling upon the touch, tilt and even the camera functionality should they wish.
In the right hands the Wii U has the potential to deliver the kinds of new games that any next generation system should have, and many of the minigames within the bundled NintendoLand already demonstrate that.
… As ever, you underestimate Nintendo at your peril.
For those that deride the Wii U and point to the Vita or SmartGlass and say, "oh yeah, well we have that feature too", let's remember something. There's a difference between having a feature as a check box, and having a feature that people actually create games for. Tech demos are nice, but what games have been announced? When will the functionality ship? What will it really cost? Can I get a PS3 and a Vita for $350? or an xbox 360 and a tablet?
I think Nintendo has a sleeper hit on its hands, and if pre-orders are any indication, people are taking notice.