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There are a number of reasons. First of all, I suspect many casual consumers don’t even realize that the Wii U is a completely different system than the Wii and not just a tablet controller. Secondly, there really hasn’t been much software that makes the Wii U a must have. Many of the games are ports of PS3 and X360 games, and there hasn’t been a truly revolutionary game for the Wii U in the same way Wii Sports was for the Wii. Third, the hardware is pretty comparable to current gen systems, and with the new systems about to come out being truly nex gen, it’s pretty difficult to justify spending $350 on a Wii U that is similar in capabilities to the PS3, when the PS4 will retail for $400. Lastly, unlike motion control, having a 2nd screen isn’t really a game changer. Sure, it makes things like inventory control easier on some games, but it isn’t a compelling enough feature to sell a system on.
I personally hope there are some killer games in the pipeline and that the Wii U succeeds, but so far it certainly has not.