Holiday Gadget Showdown: Wii U vs. iPad

Posted Sunday, November 25th, 2012 03:00 pm GMT -4 by

Having trouble deciding what gadget to give this year?  Take a look at this study that has been just released by Nielsonwire.  The study takes a look at this year’s most requested tech items.

In the children’s category (ages 6-12) we see an important trend, Apples! Apple holds 4 of the top 5 items in this list, with the other being the Nintendo Wii U.  In total, 11 out of 25 items are dedicated gaming gadgets, while 22 are game capable.  This gaming breakdown hold true when looking at the 13+ category as well!  It seems people want to play.  That being said, the top two gaming items are the Apple iPad and the Nintendo Wii U.

So, which one should you buy?  Let’s take a look.

Tech Specs:

iPad - In first place for all age categories of the study is the Apple iPad, which sports wifi (or 3G), a dual-core A6x processor, 512 Mb (iPad 2 & mini) of 1GB (3rd and 4th gen iPad) of memory, and a quad-core graphics chip.  This makes it ideal for gaming.

Nintendo Wii U - This system comes with a controller that has a built in touch screen that interacts with the games and/or becomes the screen for those games, an HDMI port for video, wifi, 2GB of memory, and a tri-core processor.  It is also backwards compatible with all previous Wii games.


  • Both have a touch screen.
  • Both have excellent games for them from top game studios
  • Both feature the ability to play with multiple people through the Internet.
  • Both are capable of stunning HD graphics.


  • iPad does more than just gaming, while Wii U is focused on only games at this point.
  • iPad has over 100,000 applications (thousands of which are games), where Wii U has 23 launch titles.
  • Adding additional games to the iPad costs between $0 – $6.99 (on average), while the Wii U games have an MSRP of $59.99.
  • Wii U allows multiple players to play (though only one can use the touch screen) and is designed as a dedicated television console, while iPad is more a unit for individual handheld play.

Price Point:

Wii U$299.99 for the entry unit $349.99 for the DELUXE edition (boasting more internal memory for game storage).
iPad - $329 for the iPad Mini (which has the same specs as the 2 which is $399, bit is smaller) and $499 for the newest full-size iPad with Retina HD display.


The iPad is gaming device that does not cost the owner as much to fill it with content.  Despite the large name of Nintendo behind the Wii U, 23 release titles cannot compare to the thousands of already polished games available for the iPad.  Additionally, the iPad can go everywhere, can do emails, document creation, and even film editing.

With so many more features and an entry price of $329, the iPad seems to take the cake here.

For a full rundown from Nielsonwire’s research, check out their results in this helpful graph below.

  • Jobernowl

    You know when I want an Apple fluff piece I usually just go over to the Huffington Post. Thanks for saving me a click.

  • Silly Comparrison >.<

    • For the 23 games, you are wrong, seriously i have never read such a biased piece of garbage in my entire life, i smell so much Fanboy boo i am gagging.

      You claim the iPad has 100,000 application, those are the amount of applications since the iPad was released, which is several years ago,

      The WiiU has ALL the Wii games and all the Virtual Store games and All the eshop games.

      32 in total Wii U games, in its FIRST WEEK
      1220 Wii games.
      458+ WiiWare games

      ALL those games are playable on the Wii U now, so that is considerably more than the 23 you claim.

      Comparing iPad games to WiiU games is also stupid, whilst the iPad does have some great games, it does not and could not cope with games like Assassins Creed 3, which is a whopping 17GB in size, could you imagine downloading a game of that size to an iPad ?

      Comparing an iPad and a Wii U is also stupid, as an iPad is a portable computer, a WiiU is a home computer, they aren’t even in the same zone, but if you truly want to compare the two, spec wise, the WiiU beats the iPad hands down.

      Im not sure how much you were paid to write this article, but in future, i highly advise you to do some research.

  • me

    wow, comparing ipad to the WiiU!? o_O

    ipad has nothing exciting, let people buy ipad and then play WiiU and realize they did the wrong choice…

    other than ”look, i got an ipad, it’s apple and it’s expensive”, i can’t find any other real reason to get one, ipad is boring!!

  • StrawHousePig

    If you buy an iPad *or* a WiiU for a 6 year old you need your parent card taken.

    Letting them use yours once in a while, well, that’d be OK.

  • Brandos12

    “iPad does more than just gaming, while Wii U is focused on only games at this point.”

    BS! Wii U has Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. The Wii U also has an internet browser and an eShop that sells games that are less than $59.99. Soon, it will also have Nintendo TVii where you can use the Wii U as a TV remote and you can see what’s on TV on your gamepad.

  • Brandos12

    I don’t even see how you can compare the two. The iPad is a tablet that is made to be portable while the Wii U is home console meant to stay in the living room and played on an actual TV.

  • Snoober

    Wowwwww. You know, I’ve read some whoppers in my time but this just about takes the cake. Comparing IPad to Wii U is absurd. First and foremost, yes Apple has a lot of games, but most of them (99.9%) are ones you’ll play once in a blue moon for maybe a minute or so at the time. Nintendo’s Wii U is a dedicated gaming machine built for games that will keep you playing for weeks on end. Also, the best games on ipad like FF Dimensions you have to pay 30 dollars for, proving that quality gaming comes at a price. Like a guy posted above me said, Wii U did launch with a variety of great games in just the first week. If you look at all the Wii’s library as well as all the VIRTUAL CONSOLE and WII WARE titles, you will see that Wii U is jam packed with games too. The guy who made this article must not have played a Wii U because it can surf the internet and get on Netflix on launch day. Only a gaming machine? It may be dedicated to games, but the thing CAN do more than that. If a parent got his/her child an iPad for Christmas and they wanted something fo videogames, the kid would be in for a major disappointment. The point I’m getting at is if you take even one of the Virtual Console’s $5 titles like The Legend of Zelda for example. I beg the guy who made this article to show me just one game that came out on IPad that was reviewed higher. Until then, shuttup and quit kissing Apples rear end.

  • dont like idiots

    For all you people WHO dont have a job look how easy it is to get one, come on this guy has to be a complete idiot. iPad a gaming device! Wow, enough said.

  • Michael

    Comparing a game console to a tablet, as a serious article. That’s ridiculous.

  • DaViD

    LOL this is the really dumb comparison.I’m pretty sure an iPad cannot handle a games like Black ops 2,Darksiders 2, or Assassin’s Creed 3.Neither can upgrade its memory to up to 2TB.Gaming on iPad doesn’t not compare to having actual physical buttons.Plus you’ll never see Nintendo games on ios.

  • DigitalBeast

    What I don’t understand has nothing to do with the article itself but the response to it. If you don’t agree there is no reason to attack the writer. Just share your opinion. I actually find this helpful based on the fact that these are two units that are considered in my friends household for Christmas.

  • In regards to the article:

    I was mainly comparing this article for the casual games market, which is the primary person purchasing a device for people in the age bracket this comparison was designed for. This article was not for the core gamer. Specifically, I was focusing on the amount of content available and optimized for these devices and how much it would cost a parent or sibling to “refill” the device with more. The attention span of people today is getting shorter and shorter. 5 minute games are exactly what they need. It seems they get bored of long involved games, and thus a console may actually bore them.


    As for the Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu applications, they are not a feature that I would highlight as they are available on both devices and thus are a moot point. Additionally the TVii functionality is not released so we can not call it into evidence for or against the system.


    As for the backwards compatibility and WiiWare arguement, you make a
    great point and it should certainly be considered, though the overall
    quality of WiiWare and virtual console titles should be taken in to consideration.

    Also, I am not a fanboy, though I see 1/3 of your twitter feed has Wii-U news in it ;). I am actually excited to see what sort of hacks and mods they come up with for the Wii-U. I think the system has incredible potential!

    In summary, I truly appreciate the comments. They are all certainly interesting to read. I like a good discussion. I like to hear the opposite side. I am an objective writer and like to mix it up a bit. Thank you all for participating and please keep the comments coming.