Is the Wii U going to mirror the N64 in other ways? For instance, Super Mario 64 propelled the N64 initially, but waning third party interest and several hardware handicaps eventually did it in. It wound up having done better than the Saturn, but fell short of the original PlayStation.
Or will it more closely mirror the SNES? The Super Nintendo came off the long-standing success of the NES, and while it couldn't match its predecessor's hardware sales, it still, eventually after a bitter war, won out over its rival system of the time. It also had, arguably, a much better and more varied library compared to its predecessor. Will that be the case for Wii U?
It's interesting to note that both the GameCube and Wii launched without true Mario platformers, and their reception in the market couldn't have been more different. Maybe that proves that it's never come solely down to whether a Mario game is available at launch. While that seems quite obvious, and while the N64 didn't score the sales crown even with Mario 64, it's worth noting that Mario games still sell well and Mario 64 did help the N64 tremendously early on. It's up to Nintendo whether the Wii U is more like the SNES or N64.
Personally, I'm excited about it. I can barely remember the N64's launch and I'm sure I'm not alone. A Nintendo home console, launching with a Mario game once again at long last.
Should be cool.