The Difference in Wii Models

by Jennifer Leighton

The Nintendo Wii game console was introduced in 2006 and quickly became a popular choice for video gamers. The Wii features motion-sensing technology that allows players to use lifelike movements during gameplay. While several different versions of the Wii console have been released in the years between 2006 and 2011, the consoles all have identical functions and gameplay. The primary differences are the size of the DVD drive and the circuit board, but these differences are not easily discerned by the naked eye. The serial numbers are the primary way to identify the version of Wii.

Version 1 Wii

Version 1 Wii consoles will display a 9-digit serial number that ranges from 10000000 and 10160000. The serial number on version 1 Wii consoles is displayed on the rear of the console and appears on a sticker to the right of the model number.

Version 2 Wii

Version 2 Wii consoles had a slightly smaller circuit board and DVD drive. The serial numbers on version 2 Wii consoles are 9-digit numbers ranging from 10160000 to 10875000 on a sticker on the rear of the console to the right of the model number.

Version 3 Wii

Version 3 Wii consoles had a slightly smaller circuit board and a reformatted DVD drive. They display a 9-digit serial number that starts with 10875000 or higher on a sticker on the rear of the console to the right of the model number.

Versions By Country of Origin

The Wii models will play different games depending upon their country of origin. For example, Wii consoles released for the U.S./Canada market will not play Wii games released for the Japanese market. Wii consoles released for the U.S. and Canada market can normally be identified by the prefix on the serial number, "LU." Wii consoles for the UK, German and Irish markets can normally be identified by the serial number prefix "LEH." Japanese Wii consoles can normally be identified by the serial number prefix "LFJ." Wii consoles made for the Netherlands have serial numbers beginning with both "LEH" and "LEH."

Colors, Included Games, Media

The Wii console comes in three colors as of February 2011. The white Wii, which was the original color, is still the most commonly seen console color. A black Wii console was introduced in summer of 2009. During the 2010 holiday season, Nintendo released a red Wii console. The earlier Wii consoles were packaged with Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers and the "Wii Sports" game. From May to November of 2010, the Wii MotionPlus controller extension, a snap-on component which enhanced real-time controller movement, was included with all Wii consoles, and the "Wii Sports Resort," a sequel to "Wii Sports," was packaged with all new Wii consoles. Beginning in November 2010, Nintendo packaged its new controller, the Wii Remote Plus, with all Wii consoles, while it continued to include "Wii Sports Resort" in the console package. The Wii Remote Plus is a Wii Remote that integrates the MotionPlus technology without the need for the extra snap-on device.

Photo Credits