On Thursday, Oct. 20, Nintendo revealed its latest home Nvidia-powered home console, the Nintendo Switch, to an uproarious reception online, with the reveal trailer hitting 10 million views under 24 hours alongside witty reactions. It's not a mystery why the console was warmly received by Nintendo fans and the gaming community in general. It's a console that promises portable high-powered games, a much easier concept to wrap people's heads around in compared with the Wii U's mixed messages and subsequent lukewarm reception.
While the trailer was able to introduce the Switch in a highly intuitive messaging tactic, it still left people hungry for exact details like specifications, battery life and most importantly, backward compatibility.
Because the Switch is cartridge-based and its form factor somewhat resembles that of the Wii U, it's been generously presumed that the console will have backward compatibility for 3DS and Wii U games, effectively unifying all of Nintendo's platforms into a single system.
Japanese gaming site Famitsu has asked the company directly about a number of Switch-related questions, and it has posted (translated) the answers on its site.
Unfortunately, Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch will not support backward compatibility for 3DS and Wii U titles. Sincere apologies for quashing the hopes of those who wished for a unified Nintendo platform.
Fair enough, the idea of backward compatibility for Wii U games did have a lesser chance since it's a disc-based system. Additionally, the Switch's main tablet-like handheld component sits on the dock when connected to a TV set, very different from the Wii U gameplay setup. However, 3DS backward compatibility had a much higher chance since it's a relatively underpowered handheld console with simple graphics.
Keep in mind, however, that Nvidia powers the Switch, meaning that the Switch will run on an entirely different architecture. This could account for lack of 3DS backward compatibility, given the fact that emulation is still a complex programming hurdle for different platforms.
Aside from this, the Famitsu interview has other notable details. Nintendo has confirmed that the removable controllers, named Joy-Con, will be bundled in with the Switch when it goes to retail. Nintendo promised to talk about cartridges, battery life and specs at a later date.
The Nintendo Switch is the company's upcoming hybrid console, previously codenamed "NX." It features a handheld device the size of a tablet bookended by removable wireless Joy-Con controllers that support two-player mode with one system, and multiplayer mode with two systems. Several games made their appearance on the Switch's reveal trailer including Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a Splatoon port, a Mario Kart port and what appears to be a new 3D Mario title in the vein of Super Mario 64. Also in the trailer were demos for an NBA 2K game and the Remastered Skyrim title, the latter of which has been reported to still be unconfirmed despite being in the trailer.
The Nintendo Switch comes out March 2017.