Wii U vs. Switch: Which Nintendo Console Wins?

March 30, 2023 • Devin Partida

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When comparing video game consoles, you have to consider all they offer. The Nintendo Switch is a popular platform, selling over 90 million units, while the Nintendo Wii U didn’t sell nearly as well. The Wii U vs. Switch battle still runs strong, but the winner of it may ultimately depend on your preferences.

What You Need to Know About the Wii U

The Wii U is around a decade old. Though this console appears ancient compared to Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U vs. Switch war isn’t won so easily. The Wii U took everything from the Wii and made it so much better, from graphics to the operating system. You may also find this console cheaper than a used Nintendo Switch, as it is much older.

1. Its Battery Life Holds Up

Even though the Nintendo Wii U is an older console, the GamePad’s battery life holds up to the Nintendo Switch at its release. The original Nintendo Switch only has a battery life of around three to five hours, which is around the same range as the Nintendo Wii U’s Gamepad. It’s impressive that such an old console can compete with the current generation in terms of battery life.

2. It Was Revolutionary for the Time

The Wii U paved the way for the Nintendo Switch in creating a console that can be handheld. While you can’t take the Wii U wherever you want and play on the go, you can still take it to various rooms in your home and play from the comfort of your couch, your bed or anywhere else, as long as the game allowed you to. Plus, playing multiplayer games with friends was easier than ever.

3. It Brings the Wii Up-to-Date

The Nintendo Wii’s design keeps casual gamers in mind, as Nintendo wanted to reach a new type of audience with this console. The Wii U is an upgraded version of the Wii with a Gamepad that has a touch screen and is more accessible during multiplayer and single-player games. Many people feel nostalgic for the Wii, and the Wii U can offer them the same functions with an updated interface.

What You Need to Know About the Nintendo Switch

In the Wii U vs. Switch debate, the winner typically hinges on what you want more from a console. The Nintendo Switch has an excellent library of games for any type of gamer, likely because development focused more on the gaming library rather than extra features that make gameplay more exciting. 

1. It Can Be Handheld or Console

The most alluring part of the Nintendo Switch is that it can be played in almost any mode. You can connect your Switch to a dock and play it on your TV like a true console, or you can play it handheld from the comfort of your home or anywhere else in the world. It also charges while it’s on the console, so depending on your location, you may prefer to play your Switch in different ways.

2. The Joy-Cons Are Great Additions

The Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons work in handheld mode, but you can also remove them from the Switch and control them. Other games call for you to use the Joy-Cons with accessories, such as a leg strap or a wheel. They’re very versatile and have a sleek, inviting design.

If you find the default colors of your Switch boring, you can always buy another pair of Joy-Cons to change its appearance. Every Joy-Con comes in a color-coordinating pair, allowing your Nintendo Switch to be more customizable than any gaming platform before it.

3. No Region Locks

Even if you buy a Nintendo Switch in one country, that doesn’t mean you only have to play games released in that country. If you live in North America, you’ll still be able to play Japanese games before they release in your region. With all of the excellent gaming options that have been released on the Nintendo Switch, you’ll have no shortage of options, whether you choose to stay within your own region or obtain games released in other locations.

The Battle of Wii U vs. Switch — Who Wins?

The Wii U vs. Switch debate isn’t so easily solved. Though the Wii U may be older than the Nintendo Switch, it’s still a console that holds up through the years and can be a more efficient way to play your favorite games from the Wii era. 

Still, the Nintendo Switch is the cutting-edge console of a new generation, complete with an expansive library of games and a less clunky design. The winner is whichever console fits best with what you prefer — whether that’s a full gaming library or several new functions that make playing with the console fun for your whole family.