The Wii U needs a price cut. The second half of 2013 release schedule isn't going to pull the system out of the hole it's in.
Home consoles have PCs and tablets to compete with, so it's not like handhelds are the only devices that have extra competition. But I take it from the rest of your post, the troubling world economy doesn't concern you one bit right now. If handhelds should be around $150 to succeed now, then home consoles shouldn't cost more than $300.
Preorder numbers months before release skew towards more dedicated consumers, so the current data shouldn't be taken as a good indication of things to come.
As for your numbers, looks like your confidence in the X1 dwindled over the last couple of hours. You are already putting it into "terrible" territory with "bad" being its norm. I've looked up numbers for spring 2007 and both the 360 and PS3 were hovering in the 60-70k units range. A more expensive Xbox has good chances to hit Wii U lows, but even twice the rate of Wii U sales would still be terrible. Also, it would certainly be more troubling for the industry, because they are banking on Sony's and Microsoft's consoles. NPD is going to be fun next year.
It does need a pricecut now, yes. I was more saying I dont think it would require one if 1st party and 3rd party support had been okay since launch.
Id be willing to argue tablets have more of an impact on handhelds, along with smartphones. They play the same games and people can/do take them out and about. PCs being "competition" is nothing different to what we have had for Years on end. Granted, its a bit different now with Steam but Steam didnt hurt the PS3 or the 360. Id disagree on the $300 for consoles too, simply because we have proof a console can sell Millions above the $300 price point thanks to the PS3 selling over 23 Million units pre-Slim/Cut (More than the Gamecube sold lifetime), granted the majority of sales came after it dropped to $299, but there is clearly a sizable market that will dip in at over $300.
I wouldnt say my confidence dwindled, because Ive never really been confident in the One at all. Yeah, I did say "nothing terrible", but lets be honest - "Terrible" is vague at best. All I was saying was that we wouldnt see the console hit Wii U lows. I fully expect it to range between 50-80k (like you said early PS360 sales), but not quite drop to Wii U level 20-30k Weeks or even 160k Quarters. Xbox as a brand is too popular in America and Microsoft know how to advertise to Americans.
NPD next Year will be a nightmare, simply because people expect the next gen consoles to take off almost immediately. We know that wont happen, we know things will be average at best (Or even poor when comparing to Wii's early performance). After 12 Months though, thats when we will see the generation really get going when support starts to shift fully towards PS4, One and even Wii U.
Ill go against what I said and have a little prediction, just for fun.
PS3 sold under 8 Million units in 2007, I expect the PS4 to sell over 10 Million units in 2014.
Xbox 360 sold 6.8 Million units in 2006, I expect the One to sell about this number in 2014.