Nintendo Switch Won't Support Backwards Compatibility and More Info

Published: January 20, 2017 9:30 AM /


Nintendo Switch Basic Screen

Yesterday, Kotaku had the chance to ask Nintendo a lot of questions in regards to the newly announced Nintendo Switch. They ranged from questions on compatibility with older systems, online features, and more.  Some of the highlights include the fact that the Nintendo Switch does not support backwards compatibility with any other Nintendo system, nor will any video streaming services, like Netflix, be available at launch. There's more info to be had, so here's what else we learned.

Going back to backwards compatibility, Nintendo said that the Switch is not backwards compatibility with games designed for other systems but left open the idea that it may support older controllers. Sometime in the future that may be added, but they have nothing about it at this time.

In regards to questions about anything digital or online, Nintendo had nothing really to say at all. There is no news about the Virtual Console, what will be on it, how it will work, or whether a library of games you have purchased on something like your Wii U will carry over to the Switch. The same goes for how the online portions of the free SNES games will work.

When asked about the Miiverse, Nintendo had a lot to say. The Miiverse will not be carried over to the Nintendo Switch but will continue to be supported on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. However, Miis are not gone completely from the Switch. You will be able to make Mii characters to represent a user profile, but you do not have to. These same Miis can then be used by developers in games if they choose to do so. Creating a Mii will be largely the same but with some new options.

The final interesting bit had to do with region locking. When asked whether online stores will be region-free, like the cartridges, Nintendo had this to say:

The Nintendo Switch system is not region locked, but we recommend that players buy games within their region to ensure full service and support. The user will access the Nintendo eShop that corresponds to the country identified in their Nintendo Account.
The explanation for that is probably fairly simple, as the online stores in different regions will probably support whatever language(s) is dominant in that region. However, that is speculation of course, and it just may come down to Nintendo trying to discourage people from "gaming" the system in a way to buy games cheaper in different regions.

The interview touched on more, like the previously announced storage capacity with microSDXC cards, the absence of Nintendo Switch bundles, and mentioned they have nothing to announce about an achievement or trophy system (read what one of our writers thinks about its absence here).

Quick Take

None of this is all that surprising really. I imagine the possibility for support of older controllers is for things like GameCube controllers, which are still incredibly popular. All of the interesting questions went unanswered and were in a similar area, so I would assume that Nintendo may have another Direct or something to talk all about Virtual Console, online, and all of that at once. Hopefully, they have some good things to say.

What do you think of the Switch's lack of options at launch, i.e. no Netflix? Is there anything to glean from what Nintendo had no answer for?

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Andrew Otton
| Editor in Chief

Andrew is the Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Conned into a love of gaming by Nintendo at a young age, Andrew has been chasing the dragon spawned by Super… More about Andrew