I say it’s a little bit of both. One thing Nintendo has always been is forward thinking. Everything they do is not for the sake of what people want but rather to answer the question; “How do we make great games.” They were the first with a 6 boutton controller on the SNES. Everyone soon followed their lead after seeing the advantage. (I say thanks to Super Street Fighter II but that is just me) They were the first to have analog controls on the N64. Everyone followed that as well. Then Motion came into play with with the Wii. It took a little time but soon Play Station with the Move and Xbox wiht The Kinect followed like ducks. To be fair Nintendo may be first but the others always come and make it better. The only thing lacking is game quality at times.
Nintendo has done it again. The Nintendo Wii U is a step in a new direction but if you know your game history something similar has been tried with the Saga Dreamcast. Although Nintendo has taken it to a whole new level. Though Nintendo calls it a system its more like a controller that happens to have a 6″ screen. This thing has the works. It will have a microphone, a gyroscope, dual analog controls, two shoulder buttons, two triggers, a front-facing camera, a stylus, and a touchscreen. Now keep in mind this all going to in your hand. People were saying that the first iPad was too heavy to hold for a long time. Just think what they will say about this.
I will say that Nintendo did beef up the specs to 1080p and with the new controller has jumped off the map. However that is something they like to do anyway. It will just be a matter of time before we know if they are leading on the way or off that path.