So you’re a big fan of Nintendo products, and you want to see what some of the company’s older consoles are all about. Nintendo launched the Switch as their modern console, a way to play your favorite Nintendo games not only on the go, but in a portable application as well. The Switch can be looked as Nintendo’s “flagship” console, with many of their older consoles taking a backseat because of this. That said, money folks aren’t even familiar with the Wii and the Wii U, aside from knowing that they’re game consoles. What’s the big difference between the Wii and the Wii U? Are they still worth playing today? Those are questions that you’ll have to decide for yourself, but if you follow along below, we’ll take you through all of the major differences between the Wii and the Wii U systems. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
The Wii is the first console that we’re looking at, and this one is essentially you’re standard game console. The big difference between this one and other consoles is actually in design. The console sits in a vertical position instead of the standard horizontal block that most manufacturers tend to ship out their consoles as.
The Wii actually resembles a normal console, actually using game discs instead of, say, small insert-able cards. That said, many of your games on the Wii and Wii U are interchangeable, allowing you to swap between the two consoles, if you so choose.
One of the neat things about the Wii is that they came with motion or gesture controllers. Instead of your normal, traditional controller, the Wii had a gesture or motion system for playing games with what Nintendo called the “nunchuk” controller.
As with most Nintendo consoles on the market right now, the Wii had a limited amount of games that you could play. You got all of the games made by Nintendo to play on the Wii, but a lot of mainstream games were fairly limited, as they were primarily made for more popular systems like the Xbox and PlayStation.
The Wii U is majorly different from the Wii. Many of the games that come with the Wii or were made foe the Wii can be played on the Wii U; however, the method of delivery is slightly different. That’s because the Wii U is a console and controller hybrid. Slide a disc into the Wii U, and you can play with it streaming video to your TV, but the Wii U can also stream video to the screen on the Wii U GamePad.
The Wii U also has a little bit of a different design than the Wii. It’s actually essentially a box that you just place on your entertainment center or surface of choice. There’s not a whole lot that went into the design, but it is a lot lower profile than the Wii. It’s also got some substantially better hardware inside of it.
It’s worth noting that the GamePad that comes with the Wii U is not a freestanding device. If you try and separate it from the Wii U, the GamePad will not work. That means that, unlike a Nintendo 2DS or Nintendo 3DS, you could not take the GamePad with you, say, in the car for gaming on the go. The Wii U and its GamePad have to stay paired together in order to work.
As you can see, there aren’t a whole lot of huge differences between the Wii and the Wii U. The Wii U was essentially a way to offer an upgraded version of the Wii that could bring Nintendo into the modern era alongside the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, sales — in typical Nintendo fashion — were never good as they hoped. That’s why, only a couple of years later, the Nintendo Switch was launched as Nintendo’s “new” modern console.
The differences between the Wii and the Wii U are nothing major; however, if you’re planning on picking up a console, the Wii U is definitely the way to go. It costs around the same price, and the slightly improved hardware will make games smoother, keep them looking better, and make things more responsive.