Nintendo Switch vs. New 3DS XL vs. Wii U: Just how powerful is the Switch?

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Nintendo’s next video game system is almost here, and for the first time, the legendary company is dipping into both of its markets by delivering a hybrid console/handheld. While the Switch is certainly not intended to compete with the outgoing Wii U, or possibly even the New 3DS XL, these are options you’ll have if you plan to buy a new Nintendo console in 2017.

While the Wii U lifecycle will end before its fifth birthday rolls around this year, we think it’s important to put it side-by-side against the Switch to see how Nintendo’s newest systems stacks up against its last home console effort. The 3DS family of systems turns six later this month, and all signs point to it coexisting with the Nintendo Switch, meaning that for portable play, there will be two viable options.

Let’s take a look at the most important features of the three to uncover if the Switch looks to be a step in the right direction for Nintendo.


Nintendo Switch

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Wii U

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New Nintendo 3DS XL

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 Dimensions  4 x 9.4 x .55 in (with Joy-Cons attached)  5.3 in × 10.2 in × 0.9 in (gamepad)  3.69 x 6.3 x .85 in (closed)
 Weight  297 g (398 g with Joy-Cons attached) 491 g (gamepad)  329 g
 Screen  6.3 in capacitive touchscreen  6.2 in touchscreen  4.8 in (upper) 4.18 in touchscreen (lower)
 Resolution  1280 x 720 (portable) 1920 x 1080 (console)  854 x 480 (gamepad) 1920 x 720 (console)  800 x 240
 Speakers  Stereo Stereo Stereo
 CPU  Nvidia customized Tegra processor  IBM Power-based multi-core processor  804 MHz ARM11 MPCore quad-core
 GPU  Nvidia customized Tegra processor  AMD Radeon-based high definition  4x VFPv2 Co-Processor
 Storage 32GB (expandable via Micro SDXC) 32GB flash (expandable via external HDD)  4GB microSD included (replaceable)
 Sensors  Accelerometer, gyroscope, brightness  Accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic  gyroscope
 Battery lithium ion 4310mAh lithium ion 1500 mAh  lithium ion 1400 mAh
 Battery life 2.5 to 6 hours  3 to 5 hours  3.5 to 7 hours
 Camera  No  Front  front, back
 NFC Support Yes Yes Yes
 RAM  4GB 2GB (1GB allocated of OS)  256MB FCRAM, 10MB VRAM
 Bluetooth  Yes, 4.1  No No
 Ports USB Type-C, headphone  headphone headphone
 Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi  802.11b/g Wi-Fi
 Price  $300  $200-$300 (no longer manufactured)  $200
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