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Nintendo Switch vs. Wii U – Best Specs and Display Comparison


Have a look at the comparison of specs & features of the old and new Nintendo consoles.

By now, it’s pretty clear that the new Nintendo Switch is a great step forward from the disappointing Wii U. But what about the Wii U owners who are considering an upgrade? Is it worth getting the Nintendo Switch? Check out our comparison of their specs and features below.

Standalone portability

Even if the Wii U can be used to play games without a TV, it’s not exactly standalone portable as it needs to be in the same vicinity as the main console. The Nintendo Switch is fully self-contained as an on-the-go portable. Both devices work displaying on a TV as well.

Dimensions, weight and build

The Nintendo Switch (102mm x 239mm x 14mm) is a bit smaller than the Wii U (135mm x 259mm x 23mm). The full-console matte plastic Switch (297g) is 40% lighter than the satellite GamePad which is made out of glossy plastic (491g).

Display and maximum TV resolution

Both devices feature a 6.2-in screen and the Switch’s screen has a 50% higher pixel density (1280 x 720, 237 ppi) than the one of the Wii U (854 x 480 x 158 ppi). Both of them max out on the same 1080p when they’re connected to a TV.

Detachable controls

You can slide the two Joy-Con controls off the sides of the Switch. The Wii U doesn’t feature detachable controls.


The Switch features 32 GB of internal storage, and the Wii U comes in both 8 GB and 32 GB options. Regarding the subject of expandable storage, the Switch supports microSDs up to 2 TB and the Wii U console has an SD slot.

Game format

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridges that are similar to 3DS cards. The Wii U features discs.

Backwards compatibility

Unfortunately the Switch does not support any last generation physical games but you can play old Wii games on the Wii U.

Virtual console

The Switch will eventually support Nintendo’s Virtual Console, but it’s not available at launch, unlike the Wii U.


The Switch comes with a 4,310mAh and it can last up to 6 hours, and the Wii U comes with a smaller 1,500mAh that will last for up to 5 hours.


Neither of the two devices supports VR.

Release date and pricing

The Switch was reelased on March 17 this year, and the Wii U was launched back in 2012. You’ll find the Switch for about $300, while the Wii U has been discontinued.

The Nintendo Switch is a great upgrade and its Joy-Cons will engage gamers in a way that the Wii U never could.

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