GameHub Concierge

GameHub Concierge: Which Wii?

My Son (6.5) is really keen to get a Wii – he started being helpful in August because he’d decided on his own that that was the way to get one for Christmas. I don’t know much about them – but if I do get one, do I need a Wii or a Wii U? And why is this one twice the price of this one? If I get the first, can I then buy older Wii games second hand for it? Or might I just as well, at that point, get a secondhand Wii? Any advice gratefully received. Thanks in advance.” via  Mumsnet

WiiU
Wii U

I rather admire the lad. Being helpful to his Mum and with clear goal in mind as to what he would like for Christmas, good for him! Confusion over the Wii and WiiU is a common problem. GameHub Concierge is donning its Santa hat and riding to the rescue!

GameHub Concierge:

“The Wii U and the Wii are actually two different consoles, something that Nintendo have not been very good at all at communicating to their customers. Even the gaming press were confused when it first came out! The WiiU, the new console, was launched in 2012, whilst the Wii is the old console originally launched in 2006. In tech speak, the WiiU is a whole “generation” more modern than the Wii. Without boring you with lots of nerdy numbers, the difference between the two devices is quite substantial. If this is your first Nintendo console for your home, I strongly recommend you go with the WiiU.

With a WiiU, you will get the WiiU Gamepad. This is a flat, Ipad-like controller with a camera, touchscreen and microphone, designed for games that don’t suit the physical “flail about” input method. This means that the WiiU is a far more versatile console than the Wii, suited to lots of different kinds of games.

The WiiU is also “backwards compatible” with the Wii, which also means that you will be able to play any games which say on the box that they are made for a Wii, including second-hand games. By contrast, the Wii would not able to play WiiU games, or use the WiiU Gamepad.

Wii
Wii

In the WiiU box you linked, you would get the console and gamepad, lots of cables and stands, and free game called Nintendo Land. To make the perfect present, I would recommend you get him another 1 or 2 games for variety. I can advise on what titles are currently popular, or, if you can tell me a little bit about your son’s preferences and interests, I can come up with a more tailored list of suggestions. And if you have any more questions, please ask and I will do my best to answer them!”

Got a question for the Concierge? Contact us.

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Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Console Generations

One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

Console generations can be a hard concept to get your head around, especially when manufacturers insist on calling them all the same thing! So if you don’t know your Playstation 3 from your Playstation 4, or your Wii from your Wii U*, this week’s Words Worth Knowing is here to help you out!

*And quite frankly, why would you? Life’s too short. This kind of technical boon-dogling is ours to worry about, not yours! 

What It Is: Console Generations = successive iterations of gaming console hardware

What It Means: When a new console or handheld is released, we will speak of it as being of chronological ” generation” of hardware. For example, the original Xbox was a 6th Generation console, the Xbox 360 was a 7th Generation console. All these generations belong to the same family of Xbox devices, but each generation represents a significant advance in the technological capabilities of the hardware. Each generation should be a technological improvement on the last.

Why You Care:  When a console or handheld is released, the manufacturers may describe it as having “backwards compatibility”, meaning it can play games bought for the previous generation consoles in that console family. Hence Xbox 360 was backwards compatible with Xbox, but the Xbox One is not backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. Backward Compatibility is not a concept that applies to PC gaming, as all computers are of the same “family” and do not advance in generations. When buying games, handhelds or consoles, it is important to check carefully that the game will run on the generation of console you own. Every GameHub HQ game entry displays the named consoles the game will run on. Look under “Platform,” the second tab down on the left-hand side as you browse each game title, or, if you have a specific question, get in touch via the contact form below.