If they were going to keep the Wii name, they should have also keep the motion controls front and center - but I disagree with keeping the WM+/Nunchuk exactly as they are. A WiiHD (would probably sell better than WiiU) would not enjoy a lot of success either at this point.
The gamepad IS a big turn-off to a lot of people. It does add too much too the cost (especially since it's a hindrance on sales). But Nintendo failed to really support their blue-ocean strategy and come out with any meaningful Wii-type games since WSR. Actually, if Nintendo launched WiiHD in holidays 2010/11 with WSR & LoZ:SS with WM+ (launching with it) it would have continued the Wii domination nicely and have gotten all the 3rd party HD ports with added motion controls. That would have been smart. But Wii had little meaningful support since 2011 and by holidays 2012 an HD Wii wouldn't have had a lot of appeal anymore.
By delaying the launch a year (Nintendo has always had 5 year cycles, I don't know why they waited six for WiiU - it's not like there's HD games to show for the wait....) Nintendo really created a need for something 'new' instead of a mere WiiHD. It could have been a new brand with gamepad (and better support) or a WiiHD with modified and enhanced wiimote/nunchuk (and some killer Wii___ game - something new not Sports 3). But by keeping 'Wii' but returning to dual analog controls (which 'casuals' have never embraced) Nintendo basically made a system for no one at all.