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Rogue controller maker leaks Switch 2 backwards compatibility info

link with switch games holder

Backwards compatibility has been one of the biggest questions regarding the Nintendo Switch 2 and fans may have finally got an answer, and it’s one they’re going to like.

There have been many leaks regarding the Nintendo Switch 2 from official entities. These have largely been small parts of larger data breaches like Microsoft dumping troves of court documents onto the internet or Nvidia being hit with a massive cyberattack. In all cases, there hasn’t been an overt effort to dump info on Nintendo into the public sphere.

That has changed. A peripheral manufacturer has seemingly gone rogue regarding the Nintendo Switch 2 and leaked a wealth of information on the Switch 2. Alongside details on changes to Joy-Cons and the size of the new console, it also reported details on backwards compatibility.

Will the Nintendo Switch 2 have backwards compatibility?

According to a leak from a controller manufacturer, the Switch 2 will have backwards compatibility with physical cartridges for the original Switch.

Mobapad is an accessory manufacturer for the Switch that produces pro controllers and Joy-Con replacements. The company made the surprise decision to announce that it is working on hardware for the new console and on its social media pages in China before later posting these on its official website. The leaks from Mobapad may have prompted Nintendo to use a “mystery box” approach to demos with other peripheral manufacturers.

nintendo ds gba cartridge
The Nintendo DS had a dedicated GBA cartridge slot.

According to the company, the Nintendo Switch 2 will take Nintendo’s traditional approach to backwards compatibility for handheld gaming devices. This includes the Nintendo Switch 2 being compatible with Nintendo Switch cartridges, but Switch 2 cartridges being unable to fit into the existing Switch.

Nintendo has taken this approach to backwards compatibility for its handheld gaming devices from the very beginning. The Game Boy Color used cartridges that were similar to the Game Boy, but without a notch in the top corner that allowed them to lock into the original Game Boy’s slot. Similarly, Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges could fit into the Game Boy Advance, but GBA cartridges were too small to reach the contacts of older hardware.

Most recently, Nintendo 3DS cartridges were effectively the same size as DS cartridges but with an extra notch. It’s unclear whether the Nintendo Switch 2 will do the same for its cartridge backwards compatibility, but that extra notch is likely the most elegant solution.

Will Switch 2 have digital backwards compatibility?

No word was given on Nintendo Switch 2 backwards compatibility with digital copies of games, but if there’s backwards compatibility with physical media it’s extremely likely that digital games will also be supported.

nintendo wii gamecube disk
Nintendo had a strong history of backwards compatibility before Switch.

Nintendo executives have discussed the impact of Nintendo accounts and how it will help gamers transition between console generations after the Nintendo Switch. The Nvidia cyberattack suggested that the Switch 2 will largely use upgraded versions of the existing Switch hardware. This is notable as many instances where backwards compatibility was removed from consoles stemmed from using different styles of graphics cards, as was seen with the original Xbox having a GPU based on Nvidia GeForce 3 technology while the 360 had an ATI-based GPU.

This likely means that players will simply be able to log into their Nintendo Account on their new hardware and instantly download their games. None of this has been confirmed by Nintendo, but fans who were concerned about their collection can rest a bit easier.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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