There has been a faint rumble recently about Nintendo already working on a new console. This is like the humming sound before the earthquake, so before more news and speculations start to pop up on the net, let's see what are the keys to victory of such a console.
1) An inspiring name
This was the worst defect that the Wii U had to live with, as most Wii owners thought it was just another version of the same console instead of an entirely new one. This time they need to let go of the family oriented "good guys" approach and focus on making their new console to be seen as something badass. Back when the Wii was still a work in progress, it was pretty popular with its working title that was "Nintendo Revolution". People liked that name a lot, some of them were already calling it "Revo" and other abbreviated versions of the name. Sadly there was a huge sigh of disappointment when Nintendo finally showcased their console and called it Wii, losing part of what made it look like something serious to the public.
2) An equally inspiring merchandising effort
We have to admit that Nintendo is already changing the tone of their marketing campaign right now with the Wii U. They don't look like goobers anymore as they are changing and little by little catering more and more to the hardcore crowds (The Reggie vs Iwata fight video is proof of this). Nintendo is finally realizing who their fans are and how these fans feel and react about their games and decisions. Hopefully they learned their lesson and will keep improving their style when promoting their new console.
3) Powerful hardware / bigger console design
It has been said that the Wii U processing power was capped at some point because it made the console to overheat, meaning that they would had to put a bigger and louder cooling system (fans) which was contradictory to the console's overall design. This time around they should drop the small console approach and make it bigger so it can have a cooling system that can handle a bigger amount of power. I am not implying that the new Nintendo console should be as big as an old VCR player, but they should at least try to find the best of both worlds because they need to give Sony and Microsoft a run for their money in terms of power.
4) A definitive game at launch
Coming with a console in the middle of a console generation can be the equivalent of trying to stop a running train by stepping in the tracks and extending your arm, but if Nintendo can give the right impression from the beginning they not only re-introduce themselves in the console race, but also could be able to take down at least one of the giants. One way of re-entering the console war with a bang would be to have a definitive title from the very start. Assuming that the console has enough power, we could have a new entry in the Metroid Prime saga that can blow us away with its visuals, story and even more so if it has VR headset support. They could also join the fray with an RPG from the Xenoblade series or even a big surprise like a Mega Man game (thing that could make Nintendo to take the look of a hero in the eyes of millions of players worldwide). This time around bringing a Super Mario Bros game from the start will not work, if they want to succeed they need to beat the other companies at their game.
5) Keep up the cooperative efforts
Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 are examples of how well cooperative works are for Nintendo. If they can keep that up with the new console, we can expect tons of exclusives that won't be so expensive to make, but can still become instant hits. It is true that sales figures are not off the charts for the two examples I mentioned, but if these games would had been released at launch, the story would had been very different. This type of cooperative endeavor can do many things from reviving dead franchises to making cool spin off games and interesting crossovers. It is a fresh way of making business that can serve Nintendo well if they know how to use it.
6) Open to a worldwide market
This one is very important as it is one of those things that is already limiting the potential of the Wii U. First, the concept of region blocked games has to be ditched in order for the new console to be a good product on an open market. Censorship has no place in gaming as it only serves as a limitation to gamers and as a hindrance to profit. Another thing Nintendo has to improve is the way they deal with Japanese games. They should stop limiting so many of them to Japanese audiences only and start to bring more of those games to the west. Fatal Frame IV and the new Fatal Frame (which is on Wii U) are big examples of this problem, which is a self-defeating posture that must be changed before the new console is released.
Wrapping it up
Nintendo once again has a good chance here, but it will take a lot of effort to actually make it right. Any mistake will prevent them from turning skeptics into believers so they must be careful, but effective. It's all about precision up to this point, so the big N has to take everything they learned with the Wii U and use it in order to become a real competitor once again.