Nintendo confirms no physical backwards compatibility for Switch, no comment on mobile games - Nintendo Everything

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Nintendo confirms no physical backwards compatibility for Switch, no comment on mobile games

Posted on October 21, 2016 by (@OnePunchMaz) in News, Switch

Famitsu reached out to Nintendo following yesterday’s Switch reveal and inquired about a few more details. One thing they asked about was backwards compatibility. As should be obvious given the lack of a disc drive on the Switch, Nintendo confirmed to Famitsu that the Switch would not be compatible with Wii U discs. They also confirmed that it will not be able to read 3DS game carts either. A form of digital backwards compatibility might still be possible, but if you want to play your physical Wii U and 3DS games, then you need to hang on to those consoles.

Famitsu also asked about whether or not the Switch will be able to play games developed for smart devices. Nintendo declined to answer that question at that moment.

Finally, Famitsu asked about the Switch’s battery life. Nintendo refused to give specifics, merely saying that the device was designed so that players could play “as comfortable as possible even in a place where you have no power supply.”

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  • Good. That’ll send a loud and clear message to everyone that *this thing is new.* Nintendo is making the statement that they’re pushing forward

    • Natsu

      Oh please. They can get across “this thing is new” without taking out backwards compatibility.

      • Monique Rentas

        Yet, all the other consoles have done the same to move forward. Like any other console, they have to stop the backwards compatibility at some point. They normally do this with every 2 new generation consoles. Wii played Gamecube games, WiiU played Wii games. How much more backwards compatible do you want? XBoxOne doesn’t go back to play Original Xbox games. Stopping backwards compatibility after a certain amount of newer consoles has been part of the process for all.

        • Dllemm

          By your logic this should play WiiU games. Instead we need to hold onto a console hardware for a handful of exclusives instead of the massive library that others enjoy. I’m sure Nvidia was the best way forward for Nintendo on mobile, but it wasn’t best for their existing customers.

      • True. And I’d bet money that there’ll be a digital virtual console – so we will still get to play old games on Switch. But the absence of ports for aged tech definitely makes a statement, especially to the non-tech savvy and non-gamers

        • Dllemm

          I think that is still TBD since the WiiU runs on Power PC and this runs on Nvidia Tegra (ARM).

  • Michael Cortorreal

    Well that is a given, I mean the Switch does not have the disk drive. It would also draw power from the system just to emulate the older games.

    What’s going to happen is: Remaster of last gen N games. That would be nice for sure for anyone who skipped the WiiU.

    My true concerns are, internal memory? With how even Nintendo is pushing downloadable games, I hope Switch has a nice internal memory. I heard it has 32 GB. I consider that way to low…but then again they aim cartridges so thats that.

    Second, region lock. Hopefully that’s not around now, I hope Nintendo see the benefits of letting their costumers get the games from anywhere they want.

    Three, social media; with how the PS4 is…with Twitch, YouTube, Now on PlayStation and much more, I am hoping Nintendo expands its social capabilities on Switch beyond Miiverse.

    • KnightWonder

      Well according to Emily Rogers, who’s been correct about everything so far, the Switch will not be region locked. As for social media, it’ll probably have the typical apps, like the WiiU did; Youtube, Netflixs, Twitch, stuff like that.

      • Michael Cortorreal

        I know the Switch will come with the apps, what I mean is stream capacity like PS4 has.

        The ability to make your own community instead of joining one on Miiverse.

        And other things, I know it’s not a requirement or a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have that as well.
        Also a type of Nintendo MSN (and no…not Miitomo).

        Better online integration between the system and internet. You don’t know how nice it is to actually go to the PS Store and download the games anywhere then just call my bro to turn the PS4 on and when I get home the game is ready to roll.

        See, things like that would make the Switch a dream machine.

        Edit: I know that since the Switch is portable, you might say “just take it with you and download the games on the go”
        That’s an option, but not everyone would want to do that and not everyone lives in a country were there is 10mb of download speeds on the streets.

        • KnightWonder

          Well see. There’s still quite a bit we don’t know about the system yet. I think they’ll fix a lot of things that were wrong with the WiiU though, according to their CEO.

        • Airsh Bornely

          Er, you can already do this on Nintendo’s online store. I can be anywhere and buy a game and it’ll start downloading on my Wii U (if standby mode is on) and on my 3DS. (If left in sleep mode)

      • primeiro_campeão_mundial_51

        Good, because I don’t speak Japanese and bought my Wii when I was living in Japan, and the damn Japanese version don’t have language choices, so the menus, configs, options, are all in Japanese, when I wanted to change some config, I had to watch youtube videos of english menus to know what I was doing. Ridiculous…

      • MaybeHitler

        Emily Rogers has been incorrect, on both Paper Mario and this. The only things she’s gotten right were repeated by everyone else for a few weeks before she did. Things she’s gotten wrong have been the only unique things she brought to the table, but people dismiss it as being “small misinformations”

      • Pinkie-Dawn
  • KnightWonder

    Kind of figured this, since it uses cartridges and not disks. Speaking of the cartridges, I wonder what kind they’re using. They must be pretty big.

    • Michael Cortorreal

      Did you watch the trailer?
      The “cartridges” are smaller (but bulkier) than the 3DS ones.

      Costum designed to avoid piracy I guess. These ones do look like computer chips xD they are so small.

      • KnightWonder

        Not big as in size, big as in space. XD If Breath of the Wild is gonna be on it, it’s going to need lots of space.

        • Michael Cortorreal

          Ohh sorry xD

          Let’s see…from what I heard the size is 64 GB per cartridge, enough to slam Skyrim too.

          But I heard Nintendo recommends using the 32 GB version (to reduce costs maybe?)

          • KnightWonder

            Hm…Maybe they’ll have two kinds; one they’ll use for smaller games, the other they’ll use for bigger games.

          • If aynone is concerned about the 32GB internal storage… please note that the Switch also have an SD card slot, plus the dock has 2 2.0 USB ports and 1 3.0 USB port. I find this strange as the screen/pad is the actual system itself and the dock is just there to charge and provide additional power to the screen… Oh wait that’s a bit interesting… since if the dock provides additional power to the actual system and has additional ports… does that mean that 1. It becomes like the 3DS and is under some sort low power resource management undocked? and 2. When docked it is @ full power or something like the N3DS? with the ability to use/expand memory via dock? Hmm.. Perhaps I am looking @ this wrong but that would somehow explain the choppy frame rate in BotW while the guy was mobile? Anyways we are still unsure if the (not cartridge)SD slot is on the dock itself or the system? Most likely it would be on the system(screen) part… So many questions to be answered… like battery life n such.

            All in all why I most want to know if its true that the region lock is done away with… That is most certainly nice.

          • Alexander Vander

            Micro sd…means 200 gb to 128gb…fall short to 4tb ps4 or 500gb ps4 slim… if the NS doesn’t play games or movies from external hard drives…

          • Not true. Samsung just came out with a 1TB microSD. And I’m sure others larger are on their way.

          • Dllemm

            If you want 1TB just hope it plays from external HDD. A 1TB SD Card will cost $700 versus $54 for an external 1TB spinning drive on Amazon. The most practical SD card size currently is 256GB ($80-120). That would fit 20-100 WiiU games, so I don’t see it as a huge issue.

  • jimmy

    So atleast 6 hrs then?

  • donzaloog

    I’m hoping that battery lasts at least 8 hrs. That would be ideal.

    • I’d be happy with a solid 6 hours when connected online the whole time

      • Hermione Granger

        6 hours just aint doing it, 8 hrs is expected.

        • Dllemm

          8 hours of high performance gaming on wifi? Get real, even iPads can’t game more than 5.

      • donzaloog

        That’s passable. We also have to consider that the Joy-Con controllers may draw their power from the tablet device. If that’s the case, this thing would need serious battery life. More than 8 hrs worth.

        • Alexander Vander

          7 to 7.5 to 10 hrs….

    • Thomas_NE

      0 chance of that

    • Mike

      Expect no more than 3-4 hours tops.

      • Ash Barker

        I’d expect that amount for it to run the least demanding game – keeping in mind it’s likely going to be throttled when it isn’t docked to save on battery life and to stop it overheating. I bet there will be recommendations on games to how they can be played (mobile or home). Either way, our battery tech can’t keep up with computational tech. It’s already years behind, and it’s just being left in the dust – a handheld of this power isn’t realistic – that’s why there’s no heavily demanding games out for mobiles and tablet devices. They can handle it, they have the power, but you’d have to be glued to a plug socket because the battery will be drained as quickly as you’re charging it.

    • Jesuswept669

      I read a report from a reporter that said it has 3hours tops. With the type of hardware it is and everything I would probably expect less than 3 hours of heavy gaming.

    • Dllemm

      The Nvidia Tegra K1 tablet runs from a high performance Cortext-A15 cpu. Not sure about the Switch, but the K1 gets 6 hours surfing and 3 hours gaming. The PS Vita gets 3-5 so not far off.

  • Indielink

    The battery totally drains your lifeforce to keep the system going while on the go.

  • Radish

    Hopefully I can get a discount on all these Wii U games coming to Switch rather than paying full price yet again just for a few enhancements.

    • Señor Cardgage

      Considering big remasters in the past few years have sold for $60 (Tomb Raider, TLOU, Twilight Princess, etc.), I’m not sure if that will happen.

      • Radish

        Yeah, I guess my concern is that there will be backwards compatibility for everyone’s digital purchases while everyone who bought physical discs have to pay twice.

        I’m specifically referring to Mario Kart and Splatoon shown in the teaser which look more like added DLC than sequels. If it really is the same game with added DLC it would be nice of them to throw a bone to those of us who bought it on Wii U and are looking to upgrade…though that’s probably asking a lot.

        • Philippe Phi

          that does not look, at all, like a Mario Kart DLC, the item system can completely break the regular MK8 game, it is likely a new game without courses yet, so, for the demo, they slammed a MK8 course in it. I mean, you have to show 4-5 new games on a demo for a console that no one knows what to expect, why not use the finished and awesome assets you already have laying around?

      • Alexander Vander

        But as cartiges or digital..?

        • Señor Cardgage

          I’d imagine they’d be physical.

    • Annie

      Fighting games do that all the time and they’re still sold at full price so that won’t happen, let’s just hope there is a lot of new content and not just ”a few enhancements”

    • MaybeHitler

      It’s Nintendo. Every remaster and port they’ve released has been $60.

      • Radish

        I know, I’m referring more to like some sort of ambassador program to sway Wii U owners to become early adopters of the Switch. Damn I’m so happy I won’t have to say Wii U much anymore…

  • Tlink7

    That was pretty much a given I guess, but what about digital Wii U/3DS games? Perhaps it could emulate them like the Wii U does with Wii games? The Switch doesn’t have a GamePad though…

    • Yeah it really hasn’t shown the TV and tablet running at same time has it

    • AnimationOwl

      the wii u doesn’t emulate wii games, it runs them natively through wii hardware included in the wii u. same for gamecube games

      • Tlink7

        Ah my bad. Does that make the Wii U significantly more expensive?

        • AnimationOwl

          Sorry for the late reply! I’m really not sure if the cost is influenced noticeably by the backwards compatibility hardware. The Wii U’s price is mostly high due to the game pad, I believe. The 3ds also houses DS and GBA hardware to run those old games natively. I personally don’t think the console’s prices are increased a lot by it, only a little.

          • R.Z.

            I don’t thing the 3DS includes GBA hardware, the original DS did though.

          • AnimationOwl

            it does. the 3ds is restarted and stripped of all its software related functions when launching a gba game, because it isn’t emulated 🙂

          • R.Z.

            Really ? Wow then !
            And wnat a waste too …

          • AnimationOwl

            P.S. the original ds had that hardware too, yes, including an actual cartridge slot for those games. the 3ds can only play gba games via software, but still has the hardware

          • Tlink7

            No problem lol, I don’t employ you to answer my questions, so you can take as long as you like 😛 thanks for the reply!

  • Loyb

    I am wondering what they will do about storage. I assume you will be able to connect an external hard drive to the dock, but what happens when you play on the go?

    • Alexander Vander

      I also hope that…as many sites said this NS is the new “nvidia shield tv”… I hope the same specs in storage..128gb micro sd cards, 4tb or 8tb external hard drive, like my book or ultra passport from WD or Seagate.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      It is confirmed to use SD cards, a la 3DS and it has 32GB of internal storage.

  • Hermione Granger

    thats another nail in the coffin for nintendo for sure, the shareholders fall is at 7,5% now as we speak… whats next??. still region locked??… just pack it in nintendo you are done.

    • Apple stock dropped over 10% after the 5s was announced, which went on to be their best selling phone ever until the 6. So falling stock prices after an announcement doesn’t mean much

      • Hermione Granger

        the nintendo switch is not a mobile phone, so cant be compared.

        • Falling share value after a tech company announcement happens a lot and often proves meaningless. Microsoft’s stock fell after Xbone announcement. Sony’s stock, which had been rising, went flat after PS4Pro announcement.

        • PersonofLordlyCalibur

          it works like that for all tech

        • KnickKnackMyWack

          Put this into context; Nintendo has some pants-on-head retarded investors who likely thought the “NX” was going to be a mobile phone. These same morons bailed out when they realized Nintendo did not develop Pokemon GO, something us gamers have known for months prior.

          • Hermione Granger

            that explain the share loss at 7,7% after the reveal of the switch. i think the ninty switch will be done after 2 years. ninty will leave it like they did the wiiu and release a 3ds successor.

          • nemo37

            If you follow business news, you would realize that stock prices generally rise with the anticipation of an announcement and generally fall after that announcement. While I am personally skeptical about the chances of the Switch’s success (largely because I feel Nintendo will price it at $300 or above, in which case I expect it do equivalent to the Wii U), I think that it is premature to dismiss it based on regular stock fluctuations. I am personally going to reserve my final judgement until I know the launch lineup and software cost, more details about the hardware itself, and most importantly system price.

    • Melatelo

      Go back to hogwarts please.
      Maybe you’d learn a thing or two.

    • Aiddon

      Stock prices, the faulty Bible of the fickle. Warren Buffet you are not.

  • Exy

    I wonder if they could make an attachment for the dock that reads the old games like the Game Boy Player. But then there’s the lack of a native second screen..

    • Hermione Granger

      lack of screen?…. you have the tv and the tablet screen. so you have wiiu setup already.

      • Radish

        Pretty sure you are trolling here but the tablet screen isn’t visible when docked, so this is no WiiU setup.

      • Saiken Media

        How are your posts being approved?

        • Sagadego15

          this.

  • Kenshin0011

    I’d be surprised if it lasts more than 3 hours straight playing a game like BoTW, especially if you’re using max brightness when outside since the sun’s out.

    • Exy

      There better be a USB cable to charge the Switch with a mobile power source, if not at launch, then no less than a month or so afterward. After the Pokémon GO fiasco with battery life, they have a responsibility to address this somehow.

      • Kenshin0011

        Like a portable external battery? I doubt that, it wouldn’t go far for something like this, Switch is not a tiny smartphone.

        • Exy

          A big enough mobile battery with 2A output can charge any modern tablet. Unless it has the power profile of a laptop or something, this shouldn’t be asking too much.

          • Kenshin0011

            This isn’t a normal modern tablet, it’s meant to output full home console scale games, so yes, its power profile is inherently closer to a laptop and home console versus a tablet you use to browse the internet and play silly Android/iOS games on.

          • Alexander Vander

            Like the anker super power bank?? Or solar chargers?

      • panther0606

        Why would Nintendo be held responsible for crappy cell phones and their batteries? They didn’t develop Pokemon GO, Niantic is supporting it, and it’s what happens when you game with an inferior device.

        • Exy

          People became more aware of mobile batteries because of Pokémon GO (and probably generated more demand for them since the launch), and since it’s looking like Switch could have even greater power demands than an average phone running a dedicated gaming app, more opportunities to use the thing wouldn’t be amiss.

      • DolphinSpanx

        That makes no sense at all, man. It isn’t like Nintendo is responsible for cell phone batteries. They didn’t even make the Pokemon Go app.

    • Alexander Vander

      Compatibility with high amp chargers alike anker or solar charger like yorkstation or rai….

  • Melatelo

    Nintendo should definitely keep their mobile and console markets totally seperate.
    Oh and a little off topic but I seem to find conflicting reports if the dock gives the console a bit of extra power. Is this confirmed?

    • Hermione Granger

      NO!

    • ForeVision

      Remember though, this is just a preview, the rest will be talked about later.

      • KnickKnackMyWack

        Likely during their usual January Direct. I hope we get an hour long media blowout! <3

        • ForeVision

          Agreed, as much as this trailer shows off the Switch, many questions remain unanswered and I hope we do not have to wait for those answers for long.

          • KnickKnackMyWack

            I doubt it will be longer than a couple of months after the fact. I believe the reason for this is because 1. People were clamoring for information so Nintendo revealed it to see if it would make a media splash and by golly has it done so. 2. They still want to release and sell some Wii U/3DS stock for the holidays, so not giving too much information away will keep the press and fans in the loop while not simultaneously cannibalizing their holiday market. 3. Once the holiday market is over and done with this year, Nintendo should have no issues opening up pretty soon after with far more Switch details. Late January at the very latest is my estimate. It would not surprise me if they rented out a theater and just did a blowout like Microsoft and Sony did for the Xbone and PS4 years ago.

          • ForeVision

            Indeed, though I have heard people saying (coming from Nintendo) that they will give no more information until 2017.

          • KnickKnackMyWack

            Well yeah. It comes out in March so logically speaking January – February makes a ton of sense lol.

          • ForeVision

            Well, strictly speaking early 2017 would’ve made more sense (as they’ve said just 2017) but eh, details I suppose.

    • panther0606

      The dock is just a glorified charger/hdmi cable as far as we know atm. I bet the switch will have more up its sleeve though, like a mode that works way better but consumes a lot of power it switches to while docked.

    • R.Z.

      No.
      Nintendo doesn’t have the means to feed software to two modern day systems anymore (it was proved by their below average performance on WiiU) and development costs are rising with each generation.

      Merging both markets is the best idea they had in a long while.

  • I figured this was the case. But I hope they also confirm/deny digitally-based stuff soon. I planned on getting a few Wii U titles still, and I’d love it even more if I could just buy them and play them on the Switch too.

    • R.Z.

      No dual screen gameplay means no native retrocompatibility with any current Nintendo System, it’s as simple as that.
      Not that two screens were necessary for all games, but any WiiU game playable on Switch would still need to be ported to exclude even the most basic gamepad functions such a soff-T.V. play.

      • This is somewhat why I kinda hope they somehow figure out how to sync Wii U gamepads to the Switch.

        On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind if they just ported all of their first-party lineup to the Switch.

        • R.Z.

          Gamepad compatibility would be neat.
          I have a hard time believing it though. :-/

          • All depends on what they go for, I guess.

            To be real, while I love the idea of the Switch, I think it’s taking a step backwards if we move away from dual-screen stuff… which is why I was sad when I heard that there’s no dual-screen set-ups with the Switch pad.

  • masterjedi

    This doesn’t bother me. I like backwards compatibility, but it cannot last forever. Super Nintendo couldn’t play Nintendo games, Gamecube couldn’t play Super Nintendo games, 64 couldn’t play Gamecube games. Such is life. That’s part of the nostalgia of having those older systems is being able to play those older games.

    • TallinHarper

      “…64 couldn’t play Gamecube games.” No matter how far I shoved those little discs into the cartridge slot, it wouldn’t work. And that would have been forward compatibility, not backward, as Gamecube came after N64. Also, every system after GameCube has played at least the previous generation, and Nintendo handheld BC has generally been even better.

    • R.Z.

      Wii could play GameCube games, WiiU could play Wii games …
      On the handheld front GBA could play GB games, DS could play GBA games, 3DS could play DS games.

      I would argue Backwards compatibility has been the norm with Nintendo consoles for at least ten years, so what we have here is a pretty big step backwards.

  • Reggie

    Not surprising. But with this as the given, I do wonder just how many and what kind of games will be digitally ported.

    I wonder if they will port TPHD, considering that the Wolf Link amiibo saves data from that which can be used in BotW, and not everyone owns a Wii U. They’ll have to think of something to give the Switch owners their Wolf Link companion.

  • Casper

    You know I have an idea while this might not happen it would be cool if Nintendo tried something like Microsoft’s Xbox Play-Anywhere, having a PC Store of ports of Nintendo games on the PC, similar to how Microsoft has PC Ports of Xbox One titles.

    Now here me out I don’t this will cause the Nintendo Switch to be redundant, and could possible be nothing but a positive for Nintendo, as they would move more software, and would be a great positive for us consumers who would want to play these games at idk 4K/60FPS or whatever resolution that your PC can handle, and if you want you can play it on the go with the switch. The PC doesn’t really offer this when it comes to handheld portability, so it doesn’t render the Switch redundant unlike the Xbox One which just offers low range PC experience, the Switch offers something new.

  • Airsh Bornely

    Completely fine with this as I’m not the type of person to get rid of older gen consoles. (Unless I really don’t use them anymore) I still use my Wii despite having a Wii U.

    • TallinHarper

      That makes sense if you have them on different TVs. Otherwise it seems pretty pointless unless you use the Wii to play GameCube games.

  • Crap. I need a NEW 3DS

  • Samuel David Coley

    Not gonna lie this kinda pisses me off. I mean yeah sure it uses cartridges but to anyone who knows what a super 8 is, knows that it’s not impossible to make the system bc.

  • Alexander Vander

    What about headsets?? Any information about it?? Optical port?? Standard headphone jack??

    • Sagadego15

      it has a headphone jack, rewatch the trailer. it shows one

  • ShadowDragoon

    More reason to keep my Wii U, fine by me.

  • Addy

    Excuse me while I throw my Wii U in the garbage.

  • Frank Diaz

    my concern is the size of the hard drive and the battery life. if you are going to make use of digital games, 32gb is not alot, and if they support external HDD, how does that affect the portable aspect of it. Battery life is key as well, the Wii U battery is awful and i even upgraded to the 1st party extended life battery and that still falls short of even average tablet performance. I like it, i just hope its viable and i hope they include the dock, would hate to have to buy 5 or 6 items at launch just to be able to play at home and on the go

  • SpectralDynamite

    The simple solution to this is to keep your Wii U and 3DS around. I wouldn’t sell mine for anything.