Nintendo Switch 2 could feature backward compatibility with physical and digital games

Shawn Knight

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Something to look forward to: Nintendo is reportedly gearing up to introduce a brand-new version of its Switch handheld during a Nintendo Direct presentation that could take place as early as next week. According to one Nintendo fan site, the Switch 2 will feature backward compatibility with physical and digital Switch games. What's more, devs will even be able to enhance their original games to take advantage of the new console's additional processing power.

The original Nintendo Switch arrived in early 2017 following years of speculation and rumors. Shipping a handheld when rivals like Microsoft and Sony were focusing on home consoles was a huge risk, but it paid off. As of December 31, 2023, Nintendo had sold nearly 140 million Switch consoles. That's good enough for third place all time, trailing only the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation 2.

Nintendo's new Switch is expected to ship with a larger 8-inch display, although it's unclear if it'll be an LCD panel or an OLED variant. An earlier rumor claimed the Switch 2 will be powered by custom silicon from Nvidia. Hundreds of developers are believed to be working on games for the new system, suggesting launch is imminent.

The first-gen switch is approaching its eighth anniversary, having launched on March 7, 2017. It would be neat if Nintendo could time the launch of the Switch 2 on March 7 of this year but no word yet if that is even being considered. We also haven't heard anything about a Lite version of the Switch 2, although that is not surprising considering the first Lite came more than two years after the original Switch. The OLED Switch, the latest version as of this writing, hit the scene in late 2021.

Pricing could play a major role in the Switch 2's success out of the gate. The original debuted at $299.99 and has mostly held at that price, save for the occasional sale. For comparison, the OLED model commands $349 while the Lite will set you back $199.

Image credit: Yasin Hasan, Jacob Spaccavento

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If it's in a similar form factor, I would bet on BC.

Nintendo, at the least, has been pretty good about that in the past.
 
The hardware for the Switch 2 is fairly well known at this point, especially because of the nvidia leaks. They have to release it this year; the hardware isn't getting any faster.
 
There's no way I'll get a Switch 2 if it isn't backwards compatible with all of our existing Switch games. It's going to be a hard sell for me anyway, but that would easily be a no-go for me.
 
140 million sold. Having exclusives sure pays in spades.

But I’m doubtful about backwards compatibility in either direction. The Switch didn’t have digital carryover with the Wii U, and it simply wouldn’t make sense for Nintendo’s bottom line when they could just remaster a game, call it a Deluxe version, and slap a $70 price tag on it.

On the subject of remastering, and who the likely SOC provider is going to be, is ray tracing finally going to make its debut?
 
I've come to see Nintendo as the greedy little underdog. It's been accepted practice for 30+ years that console manufacturers lose money on hardware sales and make up the difference on the games they sell. It's the only way to actually put out cutting edge consoles, because no one will pay a thousand dollars or whatever the actual value of the hardware might be.

Not Nintendo though, they're too greedy for that. They decided a long time ago it's better to fleece costumers by selling lackluster hardware just so they can make a healthy profit on that too. Some people might celebrate the new Switch 2, but not me. I wouldn't touch any hardware Nintendo sells with a 10 foot clown pole.

That new console everyone's clamoring about comes 7 years after the original and I'm betting it will have hardware that was considered slow 5 years ago. I know some people are going to say it's all about the quality of the games, blah, blah, blah. I get it. If you enjoy playing games on hardware that's 4-5 generations behind just so Nintendo can make more money then all the power to you.
 
For those interested to have homebrews and run emulators in it, suggest getting it early and prevent future updates on it and wait for the exploit. Usually earlier releases are easier to hack.

Switch 1 with exploitable system version is almost impossible to buy now.
 
I've come to see Nintendo as the greedy little underdog. It's been accepted practice for 30+ years that console manufacturers lose money on hardware sales and make up the difference on the games they sell. It's the only way to actually put out cutting edge consoles, because no one will pay a thousand dollars or whatever the actual value of the hardware might be.

Not Nintendo though, they're too greedy for that. They decided a long time ago it's better to fleece costumers by selling lackluster hardware just so they can make a healthy profit on that too. Some people might celebrate the new Switch 2, but not me. I wouldn't touch any hardware Nintendo sells with a 10 foot clown pole.

That new console everyone's clamoring about comes 7 years after the original and I'm betting it will have hardware that was considered slow 5 years ago. I know some people are going to say it's all about the quality of the games, blah, blah, blah. I get it. If you enjoy playing games on hardware that's 4-5 generations behind just so Nintendo can make more money then all the power to you.
This is a hilarious take, honestly. "How DARE the greedy Nintendo not sell my bing bing wahoo box at a loss?!? ATTROCITY! Everyone ELSE loses money, so should they! Follow the crowd, dont you DARE think different!"

Look, if you need to see a character's individual sweat pores and pubic hairs before you can play call of battlefield 69, that's your preference. I'm not going to say it is wrong. I WILL say that gaming, for most people, is about having fun, not how many skin cells you can show shaving off of a game character's eczema. More people want fun couch co-op games then want hairy dad simulators.
 
For those interested to have homebrews and run emulators in it, suggest getting it early and prevent future updates on it and wait for the exploit. Usually earlier releases are easier to hack.

Switch 1 with exploitable system version is almost impossible to buy now.

Unless Nintendo adopts an always online DRM, that is…

If not, I’d just wait for an S2 emulator if I was looking to run Homebrew or mods.
 
There's no way I'll get a Switch 2 if it isn't backwards compatible with all of our existing Switch games. It's going to be a hard sell for me anyway, but that would easily be a no-go for me.
Or they'll tie it to some sort of subscription, like they already do with their emulators... But Sony's also guilty of the same thing - for example, the Resident Evil HD remake is only available to Premium subscribers...
 
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