Nintendo Switch backwards compatibility might not be as extensive as some would like. Nintendo has confirmed that past physical discs and cards won’t work.
When IGN reached out about whether or not physical Wii U or 3DS games would work, they simply said, “No.”
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if you really think about it. Since the Nintendo Switch screen acts as the main console, a physical Wii U disc wouldn’t make much sense. The more surprising omission is the 3DS gamecard. We imagine that Nintendo would jump at the chance to get more 3DS games in the hands of its consumers. Our theory is that Nintendo is truly trimming the fat this time around. With as slim as the console is already, physical Nintendo Switch backwards compatibility might just be too much to ask.
All hope is not lost though. When asked whether the Nintendo Switch backwards compatibility could happen digitally, Nintendo said they have “nothing to announce on this topic” and that they “will make additional announcements about the Nintendo Switch hardware later, before the launch of the product.”
What’s important is that this time, Nintendo didn’t just say no. We’ve already seen more and more games from past systems appear on the 3DS and Wii U. What we would really love is an even more extensive back-catalog. If this can be the one Nintendo device to play all your favorite games, you can sign us up.