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Report: Not all Switch 2 models have backwards compatibility

switch 2 backwards compatibility

Nintendo’s plan to have two different versions of the upcoming Switch 2 may be a way of forcing fans to choose between affordability and backwards compatibility.

On the XboxEra Podcast, Nick “Shpeshal Nick” Baker stated that he heard of plans that the Nintendo Switch 2 will have two separate versions at launch, one with backwards compatibility and one without. The co-founder of XboxEra theorized that the two different versions would include one that could continue to take physical cartridges and one that would be digital-only. Shpeshal Nick was firm on the fact that this was only his estimate given the info that he had, but it lines up with previous leaks regarding Switch 2 having two versions.

If true, this would be a departure for Nintendo. The company has often given fans the ability to play past-generation games on the newest console, such as playing Gameboy Advance cartridges on the DS and Wii games on the Wii U. Nintendo putting the feature behind a paywall for the new Switch 2 could incite backlash from fans of the gaming company.

Which version of Switch 2 will have backwards compatibility?

It’s currently unknown which version of Switch 2 will have backwards compatibility, if either.

Previous leaks indicate there will be two different versions of Switch 2, but it’s unclear if both or neither version will have backwards compatibility. Shpeshal Nick took to Reddit to clarify that his source on the Switch 2 indicated that only one version is backwards compatible, but he wasn’t sure whether it would be the cheaper or more expensive version.

Nintendo Wii Gamecube Backwards Compatible

Nintendo has not yet confirmed the existence of the Nintendo Switch 2, nor any details regarding how it would handle backwards compatibility.

Being able to plug original Nintendo Switch cartridges into the newer Switch 2 would make the most sense for backwards compatibility, and it’s something Nintendo did with its previous handheld devices. There is no evidence that the decision to have two separate versions of Switch 2 at launch isn’t taking a page out of Microsoft and Sony’s book just to have a cartridge-based and digital-only version of their upcoming hardware.

On the other hand, backwards compatibility is also something many developers and publishers want console manufacturers to move away from, as it allows them to re-release games. The Nintendo Switch arguably benefitted from a lack of backwards compatibility. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are all Wii U games that were repackaged as Switch games and enjoyed incredible commercial success.

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Written by Cassie Gardner

Cassie Gardner has been playing games since she was but a child, starting with a Game Boy when she was 5 years old. The discovery of Pokemon led to a lifelong interest in role-playing games of both the video game and tabletop varieties.

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