"Together, better." That's the simple philosophy behind the successor to the phenomenally successful, industry-changing Wii. But what does it mean? That only really becomes clear once you get your hands on Wii U.
And now I've spent half a day playing with a large chunk of the launch line-up, it's time to take a serious look at what it means for games, and whether you ought to be excited.
Wii's greatest strengths were its simplicity and accessibility – but as a result, Nintendo's most loyal gamers felt sidelined by a lack of "proper" console games in favour of cloying conveyor belt of jaunty party and fitness titles.
Wii U addresses this directly, promising the accessibility of Wii, with the depth of experience and control gamers expect from an HD console. What this means in practice is a multitude of controller options, including the GamePad (with touch screen), existing Wiimotes and Nunchuks, and a new, Xbox-style pad.
The idea, clearly, is to encourage third-parties to support Wii U with "enhanced" versions of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles in the short term, and – if the console becomes a mega-seller – original titles that cater to the needs of those who really just want to shoot people in the face and see magnificent fountains of gore cascade all around.
At the same time, Nintendo has made Wii U compatible with Wii's controllers (including the Balance Board) to keep the casual crowd on board, while hoping the innovation of the GamePad's screen will create enticing new ways of gaming.
The problem with all of this is that it becomes the one thing Wii wasn't: complicated. And the risk for Wii U is that in offering something for everyone it becomes a jack of all trades, but master of none, with no clear message as to why it's better.
The updated GamePad itself is a delight to hold, surprisingly light and pleasingly sensitive and versatile: classically comfortable Nintendo design. What matters, though, is what developers do with it. And across the titles currently playable, the implementation - and quality of the experience - varies wildly.
Nintendo Land is the flagship launch title, heralded as Wii U's own "Wii Sports moment", a title to define what makes this console different. That's a stretch, but it has its moments.
Donkey's Kong's Crash Course is a ferociously challenging, frighteningly moreish tilt-based game that does an excellent job of highlighting how precisely the GamePad registers motion. Loved it.
But it's the multiplayer attractions that matter most, with both Luigi's Ghost Mansion and (the functionally very similar) Animal Crossing: Sweet Day brilliantly capturing the potential of "asymmetric gaming" – in other words, one person on the GamePad doing one thing, while those with Wiimotes do another.
Both of these maze-based mini-games underline joyously what "together, better" means in reality. As does Game & Wario, the inevitable Wii U take on the endlessly inventive micro-game series.
In Super Mario Bros. Wii U, meanwhile, a second player can use the GamePad screen to place blocks, helping Mario navigate levels. It's silly, simple, but super effective.
But the very best example of "together, better" – and, indeed, the very best Wii U game I've played so far, is Rayman Legends. Here, the player with the GamePad uses the touchscreen and tilt to help out in numerous fabulously creative ways, including a stunning music-action-platforming mash-up that has to be seen to be believed.
Ubisoft's other key Wii U title, ZombiU, has lots of potential but needs work. If Wii U is as powerful as Xbox 360 and PS3, this game's visuals really don't show it. The E3 demo wowed with just how many uses of the GamePad it showed off. The question is whether, in a first-person survival shooter, looking between two screens can enhance the experience with being an annoying distraction. The jury's still out on that.
Pikmin 3 will be the highlight of the launch line-up for many. Disappointingly, the demo didn't allow GamePad control, relegating the second screen to map duties. It looks gorgeous in HD, but we'll have to wait to see what difference Wii U makes.
Elsewhere, a new Wii Fit was guaranteed, as, probably is its success, but the benefits of the GamePad are less than clear. Arguably, it actually needlessly over-complicates things with yet another gadget that needs repositioning continually, to little obvious benefit. The new exercises, at least – like the thigh-savaging luge - are very well designed.
Some have suggested Microsoft's SmartGlass announcement at E3 has taken the wind out of Wii U's sails. I disagree. The GamePad, with its twin-sticks and buttons, can do things an iDevice never could. And while it's great that iPhones and Android tablets will work with an Xbox, it would take a brave developer to risk building a game around a feature most may not even bother using, where it is integrated completely into the Wii U experience from the start.
The truth is, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's next consoles must factor in the challenge of Apple and the new era of gaming the App Store has ushered in – something they didn't have to worry about last time because it didn't exist. And, as a result, each one is offering a different vision of gaming via a 'second screen', whether via tablet/phone, GamePad, or Vita.
How do I feel about Wii U? Cautiously optimistic, but not yet thrilled; concerned about the message; confused about the potential; still waiting for a "eureka" moment. Together, better? Sure. But alone? We'll see.
I really want to play Nintendo Land with my parents (who own a Wii) – but I don't know what I would say to convince them to buy a Wii U. Does Nintendo? Pricing, as the company well knows, is crucial – and we still don't know what it will cost.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is absolutely right when he says it's really not obvious what the next generation – i.e. PS4 and the next Xbox – will offer over and above what we're already playing, apart from slightly shinier graphics.
Wii U, instead, is seeking to rewrite the rule book again – and amen to that. But for Nintendo, the challenge remains in getting gamers of all stripes to read and understand it.