Nintendo is playing it very safe right now. The Wii had its run, and being made of rather cheap tech in an engaging form, sold great.
The WiiU is sold by nintendo at a loss, however they recoup that loss and turn a small profit when you buy that first game for the console. Not to mention the Pro controller.
Nintendo will do just fine this generation. They always find a way to persevere. Had the Wii flopped like the Gamecube, then we could say nintendo's circling the drain.
The Wii U is the priciest console on the shelves right now, but it is on par with the 360 in terms of power if not slightly ahead or behind (all that's been said is that its clock speed is slightly lower in Hertz than that of the 360, but that means nothing since we know nothing about the architecture)
Microsoft just released another slimmer version of the 360. Why would they do that if the Next Xbox is right around the bend?
The economy is still weak, and any company that would introduce an expensive piece of Gaming hardware and expect to turn a profit is just ludicrous.
The next gen (ps4,Next Xbox) won't be a quantum leap in graphics or processing. We're at a stage of diminishing returns. Any substantial increase in performance isn't going to be very cost efficient. Either they sell it at a loss, or put a pricetag on it that rivals that of a top notch gaming rig.
Tell me, what parents are going to plop down that much money on a console for their kids when there's a cheaper option available?
Nintendo has the right idea with keeping the tech affordable and focusing on what they know best, Innovation.