While I expect some knee-jerk comments about me being an overly defensive, delusional fanboy, this is not a post merely defending the Wii U or Nintendo's handling of it, more so an observation and an opinion on the low performance and how it can be rectified.
The Wii U has been out for almost half a year and past its first two months in the market, it hasn't been doing particularly well at all. It is (for the most part) selling just above the Vita, with a small increase in Europe and Japan from the release of Monster Hunter and possibly Dragon Quest (though the validity of the latter is questionable due to reports of its lower than expected sales).
The NPD recently came out and said Wii U sales were down %17, a particularly shaky number for the console. In this respect, even I have to question the Wii U's future right now. The PS4 and Nextbox are not far off and will most likely make off with much of the market share if Nintendo does not provide the Wii U something to make it relevant to the public.
The Wii U is hardly a failure on a fundamental or functional level. It does exactly what it is meant to do; provide dual screen gaming in high definition. In this respect, it is Nintendo's next generation console and will most likely be a secondary console to a person's PS4 or gaming rig over the course of the next five or so years. However this can only happen if momentum picks up.
Nintendo needs to stop relying on third party support that is far too miniscule to catch the public eye. It's great that Monster Hunter and Injustice are releasing Wii U side, but this pales in comparison to the support expected for the new consoles and PC. Part of the reason the 3DS succeeds in this department is because of its immense success as a dedicated handheld gaming console, a sharp contrast to the Vita's performance (mostly in western regions) and the way the iOS market is run. The Wii U was never seen as a top dog of its generation and in this respect Nintendo's otherwise "halfway" approach to 3rd party support and innovation has ultimately resulted in a public that is ignoring the console.
The only thing left at this point is games. Big ones and lots of them. The new Retro game needs to be revealed last month. The new Mario Kart needs to be out before the end of the year. Anything to get this platform moving. Nintendo needs to advertize the crap out of these games. Put trailers for the latest Smash Bros. everywhere; that alone could move hardware quite a bit.
You may wonder why I am not factoring in a price drop and here is why; a price drop only works on a product people are aware of and desire. The Wii U has neither luxury and therefor a price drop is totally irrelevant. With retailers slashing prices on their own accord with minimal success, I question the logic behind anyone who truly believes a price drop is the end all be all of saving graces for a platform with no awareness in the market. When the Wii U gains a larger audience and more games are coming out I think then would be a more appropriate time for Nintendo to price the system more competitively.
I don't see the Wii U as a failure right now. I personally am satisfied with my Wii U as a console. It does what it is meant to do and has potential for future software. But it most certainly can become one in the long term and that potential could never be realized if it doesn't pick up and start making the numbers its handheld brethren is currently making. If it is realized as the cheapest console of the next generation, it may pick up in due time, but as many here have respectfully said, Nintendo needs to up their game and make people want this machine.