One of the biggest trends I see is whether or not the Wii U is considered "next-gen/generation" ; and this is a particularly frustrating discussion and not necessarily because of the conception that the Wii U is an underpowered machine. Considering the current lineup of games, there really isn't anything to disprove this notion so it's understandable why many gamers believe the Wii U is about on par with a 360 or a PS3. I personally don't believe that, but that is not what this blog post is about.
Whether or not you believe the Wii U is underpowered is pretty much irrelevant to the word's definition; you cannot accurately state that it is to be considered last generation. It simply is not the correct way to use the terminology and here is why.
A generation is simply a relative from an older or younger era. Take yourself for example; you are someone's child. Your mother and father are from an older generation, while you are from a younger one. This, in a way, applies to technology made be different companies.
For example, the NES is Nintendo's first game console (and arguably the start of the third game generation). The SNES is part of generation four, Nintendo's "next generation" console at the time. Fast forward to generation seven where we have the Wii. Despite its lack of power, I don't remember many people saying how it was "last-gen" or questioning what generation it was a part of. With the Wii U, we see many online commenters and even news articles from various game related news websites and blogs constantly ask the question "is the Wii U next-gen."
Considering that the Wii U comes a generation after the Wii, the answer is simply yes. The Wii U obviously is not as powerful as its upcoming Sony/Microsoft brethren, but that doesn't justify misusing this term. It is still categorically a part of generation eight.
It also causes chronological confusion (shout out to AVGN), as it creates a divide with people and how they interpret the eight generation of consoles. The divide in itself is unnecessary.
You can call the Wii U weak, underpowered, whatever; that's perfectly fine. But you cannot accurately refer to its as "last/previous-gen". Perhaps in a specific context, but the truth is the word is simply being used incorrectly in that instance. The Wii was last gen, as the Gamecube was the generation before that and so on. Regardless, the term generation is a term that speaks only about time or a stage in time, not about power or ability.