What is Wii U?

Whether it's down to Nintendo's ambiguous advertising, or the general unawareness of the public when it comes to gaming matters, the Wii U has been a source of great confusion for a lot of people out there. This quick article hopes to sort that out.

Console differences

Wii U is the latest home console released by Nintendo in November 2012. The first thing you should realize is that the Wii U is not be confused with its predecessor, the Wii (released in 2006).

The Wii U is a brand new system, with new capabilities and much more sophisticated hardware. The Wii U has HD graphics. See the image below for a clear distinction between how the consoles look:

What's the difference between Wii U and Wii?

The Wii U console comes bundled with a revolutionary controller called the GamePad. This pad has its own screen and looks like a standalone handheld device, but is key in controlling the Wii U. This GamePad has a touch-screen, motion controls and numerous buttons which can be used in games and other applications.

Standard Wii Remotes can be used with the Wii U in games which support them.

As mentioned earlier, Wii U is Nintendo's first console to make the leap into high-definition graphics, resulting in much better looking games than previously possible on Wii. For a more complete list of technical details, see the Wii U specs.

Identifying games

Wii U is backwards compatible with the old Wii. This means that all Wii games can be played on Wii U, but Wii U games cannot be played on your old Wii console.

Wii U games generally come in blue boxes, while the old Wii ones are usually white:

Difference between Wii U and Wii game boxes

Occasionally, special games may use a different colored box - so it's best to look out for the Wii U logo instead: Identifying the Wii U logo


We hope this has cleared up a few things for anyone who was confused about the Wii U. Please keep up to date with the latest news on our Wii's World homepage!

Wii's World is not officially affiliated with Nintendo! (but they wish we were).