If you re-read it, they're not doing what they do every day. They're literally using the coming holiday season's sales to determine "what we need to do about the future of our platform". No matter how you want to read that, it's really bad news for people buying prior to the decision if the sales turn out bad. If they don't discontinue the platform then some other drastic move will happen such as another big price cut or a SKU without a Gamepad. If the former happens then a lot of people will be mad (just like they were about the measly $50 cut) if the latter happens then people with a Gamepad will probably find limited functionality with games going forward. My opinion is that they'll discontinue it but there are definitely alternatives.
Your analysis is lacking.
For starters, Nintendo isn't about to discontinue the Wii U, that would mean discarding all the research and development that went into the console initially, as well as all the marketing they've put out up to this point.
Abandoning the gamepad is also not an option. It is not a peripheral for the Wii U, it's actually part of the system. Stripping it out of the system would require that they abandon every game made for the system up till now, as well as a complete overhaul of the firmware.
Your appraisal of a price cut also makes no sense. No one is ever mad about price cuts, and certainly not for long. Those consumers who just bought the system before an announced price cut have the option of returning it to the store for a refund. A price cut would be bad for Nintendo's bottom line, but would be great for consumers and for the Wii U's install base. (example, the 3DS)
The quote you keep referencing is likely pointing to Nintendo's marketing plan for 2014, not any decisions on hardware. One of the Wii U's biggest problems right now is marketing and public perception. Seeing how consumers react to the Wii U's holiday selection will help give them an idea as to how to market the system in 2014.