How is Nintendo Switch Different from WiiU and 3DS?

Nintendo Switch Video Game

For video gamers who like to play anywhere and everywhere, there is a lot of excitement about the newest Nintendo gaming system, Nintendo Switch. So, what is Nintendo Switch and how is it different than the Nintendo WiiU and the Nintendo 3DS?

Nintendo Switch is a new video game console from Nintendo that is versatile and portable, so players can game anywhere. It has many features that will appeal to individual video gamers, families, and kids who like to play video games with large groups of their friends.

Nintendo WiiU is a home video game system where children and families can play both new and classic Nintendo video games on their television or on the screen of the WiiU GamePad. Nintendo 3DS is a small, handheld video game system, with games that are played on a 5 inch screen, in 2D or 3D. It is a great way for kids to play games on-the-go or while traveling on vacation. 

Nintendo Switch has unique controllers that allow it to a very versatile gaming device, for individual and groups of players, who do not want to be limited to playing video games only in the living room and tethered to a hard wired internet connection.


Nintendo Switch can connect to the internet through wifi.  An HDMI port and cord also allows games to be played in HD on the television. The wifi connection allows for online game play and the ability to download games. Like the Nintendo WiiU, games can be played on the television using controllers.

However, players are not limited to game play in one location inside the home. For players who want to play in different rooms of their home, they can simply pick up the Nintendo Switch gaming system, remove it from the dock and play anywhere. 

The gaming system has an integrated stand, allowing it to be propped up on a table in a living room, kitchen table, or night stand.

 Players can also take the system anywhere out side of the home to play games at the park, at a friend's house, in a restaurant, at the playground, or while traveling by car, plane or train. 

Players can choose their games and maneuver the system using the touch screen. Online game play can also be utilized through a wifi connection. USB ports on the console allow it to be connected to the internet and to charge controllers and grips.

Parental controls allow parents to choose the games their children are allowed to play, as well as the amount of time they can play and how late into the day a child can play, too. Parents can restrict access to the internet and a child's ability to post to social sharing websites.

Versatile Controllers

The Joy-Con controllers for the Switch include familiar A/B/X/Ybuttons and analog sticks. The remotes have motion sensors and are capable of vibrating during game play to offer additional feedback.  

In the way the controllers are utilized, they are very unique and allow for game play to be versatile.  Both controllers can be attached to the Nintendo Switch screen, for a single player to play games, similar to a handheld device. The controllers can be held separately, one controller in one hand, with the screen positioned on a table, which is a great way to play a game with a friend.

Both controllers can also be added to a special accessory, to offer added grip, similar to a traditional remote control. Controllers are gray, or neon red and blue. Joy-Con controllers also have an NFC Reader that will support amiibo toys. 

Battery Life

For those playing on-the-go, battery life will vary from 2 1/2 hours up to 6, depending upon the game. It is possible to play the game while the system is charging.


There is 32gb of storage for downloaded games on Nintendo Switch. It can also be expanded with micro SDHC and micro SDXC cards.

Is Nintendo Switch like the Nintendo WiiU?

The Nintendo Switch is slightly different in comparison to the WiiU with regard to features. 

Nintendo WiiU lets players play on the television or on the WiiU game pad. With WiiU, kids can play games on the game pad, while parents watch television.

However, the WiiU GamePad must be within a close distance to the gaming system, or it will not play the game.

Since Nintendo Switch uses a wifi connection, online game play can occur anywhere there is a secure wifi connection. Games can still be played anywhere, inside or outside, even if there is not a wifi connection. 

For those familiar with playing games on the WiiU GamePad, The Nintendo Switch and the WiiU GamePad both have a 6.2 inch screen.

Some games let up to 5 people play together on the WiiU GamePad. Nintendo Switch allows 8 systems to be combined together during game play.

Both systems allow for use of Nintendo amiibo games and toys with the NFC Reader. These small toy figures can be placed on the reader and used to enhance features and offer advantages during game play. 

What are the Games for Nintendo Switch?

There are many new games launched in conjunction with the release for use with Nintendo Switch. The games include The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Arms, 1-2 Switch, MarioKart8 Deluxe, and Splatoon2. Games can be downloaded through the Nintendo E-Shop or bought at major retail stores.

Players of all ages will find something of interest on Nintendo Switch.  Nintendo games are enjoyed by families with children who might have different gaming abilities. Parents and gift givers should always consult the age range listed on the game prior to purchase. Many games have basic features that are appropriate for young children, but in general, most video game systems and games tend to make the best gifts for tweens and teenagers.

Buy Nintendo Switch on Amazon. 

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.