I never liked the names 3DS or Wii U because they didn't sound like new consoles, just add ons or iterations (the DS sure had enough of them, didn't it?). A hardcore (ugh) gamer friend of mine and his buddy actually thought it was just a new controller for the Wii after the E3 reveal. Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii U ... do they really sound like they are not all using the same console?
Nintendo is the brand. Wii was a new thing and they launched it successfully by pushing that it was something new. They could do it again with the "Wii U" and don't need the Wii "brand to do it. That's my take.