Why all the Wii U hate?
It's not just Wii U hate. The console wars are as old as consoles themselves. Buying a console costs a lot of money and limits your choice of games, which is a big emotional investment. People like to defend their purchasing choices, and are often unpleasant about it. Aside from that, there are some specific factors relevant to the new generation and Slashdot in particular:
* Anti-Microsoft sentiment from Windows spills over onto the XBox.
* Anti-Sony sentiment from ongoing IP-related arguments spills over onto the PS3.
* Anything that involves DRM of any kind causes a fuss.
* Slashdot has a lot of gadget geeks who want to use game consoles for things other than gaming. They tend to overestimate the importance of non-gaming features.
* The Wii (and Wii U) are "casual" gaming platforms for "casual" gamers. The (somewhat artificial) distinction between "casual" and "hardcore" gamers is hugely controversial and bitterly fought over. This also comes into play when people bring up tablet and smartphone gaming.
* New consoles normally only have one or two good games on launch. Marketers have to sell the consoles by talking up the hardware and non-gaming features to their chosen target audience. This ties in with everything I already mentioned.
* The success or failure of a console is determined by whether third-party companies decide to support it. Perceived success is very important here. There's a lot of money on the line for the manufacturers and the people who paid top dollar for the new consoles.
* In previous generations, we all argued over which console was best. This time, we're arguing over which console is least bad.
In most generations, there's a clear winner in terms of sales and games. Most recently, the Wii won on sales by selling a ton of units to casual gamers while the PS3 and X360 split the hardcore market. The question today is, can the Wii U repeat that tactic? And can either the PS4 or X1 gain an advantage over the other? With similar hardware and lots of cross-platform games, the manufacturers are clearly hoping that non-gaming features will be a deciding factor. It's happened before -- the PS2's ability to play DVDs was a huge selling point -- but seems unlikely to happen again. As usual, it'll almost certainly come down to the games. If this console generation does poorly, we might see a resurgence of PC gaming.
Personal opinion: As someone who's been playing PC and console games since about 1990, I'm not very interested in the Wii U. Ever since the N64 Nintendo has mostly relied on their own games to push their platforms, and there's only so many times I can play Mario, Zelda, and Metroid before I get bored. And the foray into motion control is very gimmicky to me. I would like to see more PC-focused games. The biggest difference between consoles and PCs is the controls, and there's a lot you can do with a keyboard and mouse that just doesn't work on a gamepad.