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

how to connect with friends nintendo switch nintendoswitch hardware 2
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.

Specs

Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch vs wii u new 3ds xl v thumb

Wii U

nintendo switch vs wii u new 3ds xl v thumb 2

New Nintendo 3DS XL

nintendo switch vs wii u new 3ds xl thumb 23

 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
Gaming

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Epic Games sues ‘Fortnite’ YouTuber creators over cheating software

Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against two YouTube users for their role in promoting cheating and hacking tools for Fortnite via a YouTube channel and personal website. As of now, the channel is still live.
Gaming

Terrifying clowns try to kill you in this teaser for ‘PUBG’ Halloween event

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds seems to be getting a frightening Halloween event. In a brief teaser, we get a glimpse of two masked assailants, creepy nurses, and an utterly terrifying clown that looks something like Pennywise.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Gaming

Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.
Gaming

You can preload ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ soon, and you definitely should

Red Dead Redemption 2's launch is quickly approaching. If you're planning on buying a digital version, you should keep in mind that the file size is roughly 90GB. Thankfully, you can preload the game starting October 19
Gaming

These guns will literally blow away the competition in Black Ops 4's Blackout

Finding a good weapon in Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is hard, especially when there are so many options. Whether you like to get up close or keep some distance between you and your enemies, here are the best guns in Blackout.
Gaming

Wings on the bus: ‘Fortnite’ Battle Bus now sends you to your death even faster

A new update for Fortnite: Battle Royale has made the starting Battle Bus significantly faster, meaning you can get killed by a better player even faster than you could up until now.
Gaming

Dinner is cancelled! How to keep Call of Duty's zombies from eating your brain

New to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Zombies mode and don't know how to succeed? We've got the tips you need to blast away at the undead and keep yourself alive for longer, even without other players helping.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
1 of 10