Nintendo Switch: Nintendo confirms lack of retro-compatiblity… for physical media, note about battery life

Following the reveal of the Nintendo Switch yesterday, various press outlets have turned to Nintendo in order to get more details. Unfortunately, the company isn’t planning to make any official announcements before next year, so we haven’t been able to learn much… That being said, Nintendo did give us some small tidbits to ponder about.

Famitsu is one of the outlets that went and asked Nintendo some questions about the Nintendo Switch. And they managed to get some pretty interesting answers!

First, they asked whether Nintendo was positioning the Nintendo Switch as the Wii U successor. Nintendo replied that its new console didn’t really fall in the usual “(stationary) home console” category. As such, it’s not really appropriate to call the Nintendo Switch the Wii U’s successor. That being said, Nintendo did confirm that their new console was first and foremost a home gaming system.

That does fall in line with previous statements from Tatsumi Kimishima, who previously said several times that the NX (now known as Nintendo Switch) wouldn’t just be just a continuation of the Wii or Wii U:

“That being said, I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.”

When asked whether the Nintendo Switch would be compatible with Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games, Nintendo replied that it wouldn’t be the case, as it’s not a successor to either platforms.

But there’s something really interesting about that answer: Nintendo clearly specifies that you will not be able to use Wii U game discs and Nintendo 3DS cards. Does that mean downloadable games and digital versions of games will be compatible, and that the lack of retro-compatibility for physical copies of games is only due to the expected lack of disc drive/3DS card slot?

As for what would be included in the box, Nintendo gave the same answer as they did to Takashi Mochizuki: the main unit, the Dock, the Joy Con detachable controllers (Left and Right), and that’s it. Again, full details about what will be included in the box will be revealed at a later date.

Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t give any details regarding the game cards, just that they would be called… “game cards”. As for the battery, Nintendo wasn’t very talkative either, but confirmed that the whole thing was designed so that users could play as long as possible, “comfortably”, even in places where you don’t have access to a power outlet. Specifications about the battery life will be shared at a later date.

Finally, Famitsu asked Nintendo whether the Nintendo Switch would be able to play games for smart devices, since it is equipped with a Tegra processor. Nintendo replied that… they couldn’t answer that question right now. There has been rumours that the Nintendo Switch would be able to play Nintendo’s smartphone games, but nothing was really confirmed.

The Nintendo Switch comes out in March 2017 worldwide.

Source: Famitsu


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

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