PS2 didn't launch first, DreamCast did.
And now the WiiU has some of the same problems, the DreamCast had: lack of third party support (EA for example) and an announcement of a competitor with MUCH stronger hardware only a few month after its launch (PS2 announcement for the DC; PS4 + XBO announcements for the WiiU).
The PS2 had no problem to show its hardware muscles... the difference to the existing games was obvious. The 3rd party support was also very good from the beginning.
How could I do the DC dirty like that? Oh well.
You make very valid points but my stance remains. Either way, had the Wii U been a better value and caught the markets attention, Wii U would sell well reguardless of the competition which was my point. You have a product that people actually want, they will buy it even if the competition is tough.
3DS is seen as the better value, simple as that. People don't go "I need to buy one HH system let me pick" we have smartphones, tablets, Laptops, and so on that can fill the want of a HH type system. 3DS is selling because people want to buy it. Nintendo has yet to make too many consumers actually want to own the Wii U.