It's true. I've compiled the information and there's just no other alternative. First off, Nintendo has a very good marketing division. Their ad campaigns are original and every time I listen to Reggie speak I want to support Nintendo with everything I have. Do you think such an effective marketing division wouldn't see the responses to this name from a mile away? Nearly everyone on the GameSpot crew made fun of it - on TAPE. Not only that, but the analysts' responses have been atrocious. On top of that, the Internet has literally exploded with negativity about the news - it wouldn't be too far-fetch to say that not even the most die-hard Nintendo fan seriously agrees with the idea.
There are millions of little horrible ideas at work here. As one analyst stated: "It's a sound that doesn't exist in Japanese, so Japanese people will struggle to pronounce it." Do you really think Nintendo, who goes on and on about how they're going to revive gaming in Japan, would create a console with a name that couldn't be pronounced in Japanese? That is horrific marketing. On top of that, in English there a dozens of downright offensive messages you could take from the name, meaning that it will be constantly mocked by any English-speaking audience.
There is also no brand behind this: with Xbox, you had the Microsoft name and a brick-shaped console with a big "X" on it, with Playstation... well, it just made sense, and it had "Sony" behind it. Nintendo has also put their name behind nearly (if not every) single console they've ever created, but what is this thing called? The Wii - NOT THE NINTENDO WII! Not even the wikipedia article on the thing calls it the Nintendo Wii. And on top of that the name is totally unrelated to the console! They have stated on multiple occasions that they're targeting a non-gamer market, and said market would not exactly have a big, positive reaction to this kind of naming choice. Nintendo knows the strength of their own brand - it sells systems with its name alone. They would NOT just abandon it.
Now lets look at the announcement: it's full of stupid puns, and sounds more like joining a cult than anything else ("it's really not about you or me. It's about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything."). Do you really think Nintendo would do that? Sure, they've created some hokey things in the past, but that just borders on insanity. Their reasoning also just borders on the creepy: it's all that sickening "bring people together" crap that no one can stand, and even Nintendo has avoided to an extent in the past. All this almost makes me not want the console.
Also, I do not see the logic of announcing the final name on a random day, instead of at e3. They could very well have announced that the Rev would be finalized, name and all, by e3, and generated a huge amount of positive hype.
But there are genius minds at work behind this marketing, most definitely. Nintendo is not stupid, and would not do this without a very good reason. Here's the reason: it's the biggest free publicity gaming has seen for years. It's like they've set a fire that's spread to all corners of the Earth, and absolutely EVERYONE is hearing about it. The Internet is lit up in its entirety about this news. Nintendo is going by the old saying: "There's no such thing as bad publicity," but taking it with a grain of salt. They realize that if they release a console with a name like "Wii," it will not sell... to anyone. But with this name they are doing exactly what they said they wanted to: reaching the non-gaming market. Not only is the gaming community telling everyone (read: parents, non-gamer friends at school, non-gamer co-workers, etc) about it, but it's so outrageous that non-gamers are hearing about it through common channels.
All eyes are set on Nintendo. Everyone is laughing and waiting for the absurdity that is sure to be Nintendo's e3 showing. Nintendo has set themselves up to blow the entire gaming world away at e3 with their rumored "final secret." But what good is a final secret on a console called "Wii," you ask? That's just it - this thing isn't called "Wii." Nintendo is going to announce the real name at e3, along with the huge final secret - probably in that order. On top of that, they have already absorbed all possible hatred a new name for the Revolution would definitely bring (a side-effect of letting it stay codenamed for so long that people began believing it was the final name), allowing them to relieve everyone at e3 with the real title. That is brilliant psychological manipulation that I would not put past Nintendo. This is going to be the biggest, best case of shock-advertising + viral marketing in gaming history.
A few final, interesting notes: Nintendo has not patented the name "Wii" as of the typing of this entry (go look for yourself), and "Wii" also stands for "What is it" - right down to the capitalization of the "W."
My hat is off to Ninty for this brilliance.
Edit: Another interesting note that I did not realize while typing this out: Wii sounds similar to "yes" in French (oui), "how" in German (wie), "good" in Japanese (よい ) and "top" in Korean. It also has meanings in English. "Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion." Enough said.