Nintendo Switch Won’t Have Physical Backwards Compatibility

Gamers have been desperately asking Nintendo if the Nintendo Switch would support backwards compatibility with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. According to an interview with Famitsu, Nintendo revealed that they would not allow for physical backwards compatibility between the NS and the Wii U or 3DS.

Nintendo Life picked up the news and shared it with their community, informing gamers that while the physical backwards compatibility would be off the table, there’s still the possibility of digital backwards compatibility, which is something that Microsoft allows for for the Xbox One in addition to physical backwards compatibility.

However, the architecture being vastly different between the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch creates an interesting dilemma because in order to run the games they would either need to have the Wii U’s hardware inside the Nintendo Switch to afford for backwards compatibility or have the games patched to run on the Switch.

Then again, backwards compatibility may be off the table altogether. A while back Nintendo had stated that the Nintendo Switch would not be a replacement for the Nintendo 3DS or the Wii U. So it puts it in an interesting place and makes me question whether or not the Switch will receive 3DS games as ports at all or if it will only have its own mobile-style games?

According to Nintendo Life, the Switch will come with the docking bay, the tablet, the Joy-Con base and the two Joy-Con detachable controllers.

The Tegra chip inside the Nintendo Switch is said to be capable of 4K output with moderate settings at about 30fps, but we’ll have to wait and see what the official specs look like before jumping in on that bandwagon.

Some analyst have been ragging on the Nintendo Switch, with picked up quotes from mobile analyst Dr. Serkan Toto, who said…

“Sorry, but is a portable/home console approach really that innovative in 2016? I am most concerned about the target group of the device: who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch? The Switch lacks a killer feature, and I think it will be very difficult for Nintendo to win back the casual gamers that are mostly on mobile now,” […] “In Japan, for example, the mobile gaming sector is already 2-3 times bigger than consoles. Even the PS4 struggles over here. It’s going to be a huge challenge to try to reverse that trend.”

Okay, first of all, hardcore gamers would be interested in a portable gaming device that allows them to play hardcore games on the go. You currently can’t do that unless you have an Nvidia Shield. Smartphones and tablets suck for gaming.

Next up, the ability to switch to a large screen TV and play hardcore games from the comfort of your couch with a traditional controller is beast. This guy must not be a real gamer because not even having to turn off the console to pick it up and take it with you into the bathroom as you sit on the throne you call a toilet and play while your organic subjects make an exodus through the modern day underground railroad system for toxic material known as a sewage system is also beast.

This Toto guy seems like a blowhard, but the reality is that the Nintendo Switch will sink or swim based on the software. It’s always the software that sells the hardware. If Nintendo has strong third-party support, fun games out the gate and a steady supply of entertaining titles thereafter, then it’ll all be good and Toto can go sit on his throne alone, accompanied by nothing else but the smell of the previous day’s gastronomic failure.

The Nintendo Switch is due for release in March of 2017. A price has not been set yet.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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