Last year Nintendo made the mistake of just showing the Wii U Gamepad on stage and not the console leading a lot of people to assume it was a peripheral for the original Wii.
A year later and it appears they made the same mistake again and people are still confused.
CNN have revised the article after a flood of complaints, but this is the original text....
(CNN) -- Will Nintendo's forthcoming Wii U controller breathe new life into its aging Wii console?http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/05/tech/gaming-gadgets/wii-u-demo-e3/
Hard to say at this point, but the Wii U is a solid accessory that will bring a fresh element to Nintendo gaming.
Lots of people that bought into the original Wii aren't seasoned gamers who read tech news so you can guarantee mass confusion. The name doesn't help. Expect a repeat of the stories of people trying to put 3DS games in their original DS.