Are Nintendo Wii Games Compatible With Wii U?

Are Nintendo Wii Games Compatible With Wii U? Find out here!

Are you planning to upgrade to Nintendo Wii U but don’t want to leave your favorite Nintendo Wii games behind? Well, I faced the same conundrum when I decided to get the Nintendo Wii U but still wanted to play the Nintendo Wii games. And plus didn’t want to spend a fortune on buying new games just for Nintendo Wii U.

So read on to find out if Nintendo Wii games are compatible with Wii U!

Are Nintendo Wii Games Compatible With Wii U

Since Nintendo Wii U is backward compatible, all Wii games are supported by Nintendo Wii U and can be played on the Wii U. All you need to do is sync your Wii remote with the Wii U console through a disc, which would allow you to load your Wii games on the Wii U. Or you can even download your favorite Wii games on the Wii U through the WiiWare.

What is the Nintendo Wii

Nintendo drastically changed its game play when it launched the Nintendo Wii console back in 2006. With its functionality centered around use of motion controls, the technology of the Nintendo Wii was innovative and unique at the time.

nintendo wii games
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Interestingly, the term “ Wii ” pronounced as “we” which emphasized that the console is meant for everyone.

However, the specifications of the Wii were not exactly up to the competition. Be it the processor, memory or even the graphics which were not HD. Interestingly, the use of advanced and extensive tech was never its core USP.

There’s no denying that Nintendo’s were fun to play and also the main selling point of the brand. And this is something which the Nintendo Wii further capitalized upon.

Nintendo Wii games were more user-friendly, more engaging with very intuitive controls. Memorable games from the Wii lineup are Wii Sports (2006), The Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006), Super Mario Galaxy (2007), Mario Kart Wii (2008) and New Super Mario Brothers Wii (2009).

What is the Nintendo Wii U

Now in this present day the demand for Nintendo consoles is high among the huge community of gamers who still prefer to play games published specifically for Nintendo Wii.

To keep its loyal community in check, Nintendo launched the Wii U in 2012 which eventually turned out to be a hit and miss. Thanks to the consistent updates and uprisings of the likes of Xbox and PlayStation.

Hailed as one of the biggest updates in Nintendo’s history, the Wii U did baffle customers initially around whether it was an all-new console or just an extended accessory for the Wii.

For starters, the Wii U tried to address the minor grouses around the initial Wii. The Wii U was the first Nintendo Console to support HD graphics.

The Wii U came to the market with more enhanced graphics oriented games such as New Super Mario Brothers for U (2012), Super Mario 3D world(2013), Mario Kart 8 (2014),Splatoon (2015) and Super Mario Maker (2015) among others.

The Wii U gamepad is the console’s primary controller and has a built-in touchscreen which can be used without a television or as a companion to games being played on the television.

What advantages does the Wii U have over its predecessors?

The concept of having a hybrid console which can act as a standard and handheld console was there but there was a lot of work ahead to make it more appealing. The Wii U was exactly the kind of upgrade that was needed over the Wii.

Originally there were two bundles that came with Basic Wii U (8 GB of storage) with gamepad and a stylus. Then, there was the deluxe package (32 GB of storage) that also came with Nintendo Land, a Nintendo network premium subscription as they do now with Nintendo Online. The deluxe version also came with a stand and Wii remote sensor bar.

The main highlight was the gamepad itself which essentially was a tablet with two thick halves of controller on either side.

The Wii U controller layout is a little bit odd with the joysticks and buttons being symmetrical on either side as opposed to the offset positioning on the Nintendo Switch controllers today. It’s also symmetrical on the pro controller gamepad of the Wii U.

The gamepad is thich and chunky but gripping it and using it is a good experience. The tablet did have a lot of built-in innovations with of course the touch input but also a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, motion sensing, a microphone, a gyroscope and accelerometer.

Interestingly, it also packed in a magnetometer which also helped it with NFC capabilities which was really impressive for the time where the iPhone did not even get it until 2014.

The NFC could be utilized by “amiibos”. Those were extremely popular Nintendo Figurines. The figure can be tapped to the gamepad allowing for cool in-game features such as bringing in a new character which is the same as today for Nintendo Switch.

The gamepad’ stylus had a little slot for it, similar to the Nintendo DS and it adds yet another way to play games and do things on the gamepad.

The whole idea of the gamepad was to allow for the player to see games in a different way with a concept referred to as asymmetrical gaming as stated in Nintendo’s 2012 E3 press conference. It theoretically has game maps or rpg class options on the gamepad screen and then the main game on the TV.

Can you play or connect the Wii U to a Television set?

The idea was always to be connected so that a player could just pick up the gamepad and use the system without looking at the TV. The added convenience allowed the player to use something like miverse and its social networking functionality.

The available Gyroscope further helped players for shooter games where they could now aim with motion controls instead of joysticks. The display is 6.2 inches and has a resolution of 854 by 480 and can be used with your fingers or the included stylus.

The Wii U controller has wi-fi built in for low latency transmission which directly connects with the console through this the display streams from the actual Wii U. Off TV play was the method of playing games away from TV and solely on the gamepad which was absolutely awesome.

Seemingly, Wii games from the original Wii platform and virtual console games weren’t compatible with Wii U in the beginning.

However, a year later it was changed with the system update although an actual Wii controller was still needed with the gamepad only serving as a screen. But that was less of an issue as Nintendo would re-release Wii games digitally and fix them to work with the Wii U’s.

Is the Nintendo Wii U Backward compatible?

The original Wii games on the Wii U having backwards compatibility was one of the biggest selling points of Wii U as it meant that players could potentially put Wii away and completely and solely use the new Wii U console for all of players favorite games. However, having any form of backwards compatibility is kind of huge though. Nintendo still needs a big shout out though for its consumer-friendly move by allowing Wii games to be on the Wii U.

How Can I play Wii games on Wii U?

Thanks to its backward compatibility, you can play Wii games on the Wii U. Given below are some steps which you need to follow, to start playing Wii games on the Wii U:

  1. Sync the Wii remote with the Wii U console
  2. Make sure that you turn on the Wii U Console with a Wii disc in the drive
  3. Go to the Wii U menu and from there, select the “Wii mode” option using the Wii remote
  4. Now, select the “Disc” channel which is displayed at the top left of your screen
  5. After selecting the Disc channel, you can load the game you want

Note: With the Wii U where you can also download any specific game from the WiiWare or through the Virtual Console. You can also buy new Wii titles from the Wii software channels.

Also, the Wii U’s virtual console helps customers to play games which are not just limited to the Wii horizon. The titles and platforms seamlessly accessible through the Wii U virtual console are:

  1. Nintendo 64
  2. Super Nintendo
  3. GameCube (Download only)
  4. Neo Geo
  5. NES
  6. Sega Master System

Can I use Wii accessories with the Wii U?

Using a System Transfer, you can access all your Wii content on the Wii U. The process migrates all your Wii data and purchased content without losing out your favorite Wii characters and content on your Wii U console.

For the System Transfer, you will need an SD card alongside the Wii and Wii U consoles as well as an internet connection. Also, do keep in mind that you can not transfer individual data or games.

All the Wii data and content needs to be migrated at once. Furthermore, if needed, you also have the liberty of transferring the data back to the Wii.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ’s

Can you play older games on the Wii U?

With its backward compatibility, the Wii U can access most of the older Nintendo games through its virtual console. The Wii U supports these games mostly through Wii game discs or downloads.

Can a modded Wii U play GameCube games?

The Wii U isn’t compatible with the GameCube controller. Instead GameCube games are remapped to the Wii controller. However, with some soft-modding, you can play GameCube games seamlessly on the Wii U. Installing the Nintendont on the virtual console makes things a lot easier here.

What games are compatible with the Wii U?

You can play most of the Nintendo games on the Wii U but the highlighted games with the Wii U’s virtual console include Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, Super Mario World for the SNES, Metroid Prime for the GameCube and Super Mario Sunshine for the GameCube.

Jeff Seine