Switch 2 update has us worried about backward compatibility

Switch 2 update has us worried about backward compatibility
Images via Nintendo

Written by 

Tom Chapman


12th Sep 2023 13:12

Welcome to the world of tomorrow. It's been six years since the Nintendo Switch rose from the ashes of the Wii U and showed what the gaming giant can really do with home/portable hybrids, but with the OG already lacking behind the PS4 and Xbox One, it's safe to say it's feeling a little sluggish in this latest generation.

While the console wars of Microsoft and Sony burn brighter than ever amidst releases like Starfield and Spider-Man 2, Nintnedo happily chugs away in the corner, boasting its largely family-friendly lineup of first-party exclusives. Still, we'd quite like a new console to give the House that Mario built a refresh. 

Switch 2 rumours have us worried about backward compatibility

Following on from the recent reports that some outlets were shown tech demos for the Switch 2 at Gamescom, leaker Nate the Hate has given us an update about what's going on. He says that just because Breath of the Wild was reportedly played, it doesn't confirm backward compatibility. 

Returning to Switch 2 backward compatibility, Nate the Hate adds, "Another thing that did go around Gamescom a little bit, was naturally the discussion point of backwards compatibility. This has been a talking point for a while now, and there's no clarity to give on it right now."

Co-host Modern Vintage Gamer adds that it was likely a heavily curated showcase, meaning a playable BOTW doesn't mean much. He concludes, "We're not really any closer to answering the backward compatibility question based on this...hopefully we'll learn more about backward compatibility at a later stage."

Switch 2 backwards compatibility could be a big problem

Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild
Click to enlarge

If there's a lack of Switch 2 backward compatibility, it goes against what Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa implied in a June Q&A with investors. Shuntaro said the company is "committed to ensuring a successful transition from Nintendo Switch to the next generation of consoles by leveraging Nintendo Accounts

We should also take note of what Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz, telling the site "You need to give consumers what they want." Saying a lack of backward compatibility "isn't fulfilling your contract with consumers," he added, "You have to do the very best you can for them."

Zelnick is right that a lack of backwards compatibility would lead to a boost in revenue as all your consumers are funnelled into buying new titles, but as he says, "At what cost?" The idea of Switch accounts moving over suggests your digital games will port over, but what about physical copies?

Microsoft puts the rest to shame in terms of backward compatibility, although Nintendo has had great success with its N64 titles coming to Switch. Still, it's been a long time coming. Nate the Hate sums it up, saying, "I would be very concerned for the system from a consumer level if backwards compatibility is not a feature on it."

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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