Nintendo’s long-successful trend of backward compatibility is returning for the Nintendo Switch 2. With the new console scheduled to launch this year with a new Nvidia chip, fans will thankfully be able to still play their original Switch games on the new system.
Backward compatibility has long been a major feature of Nintendo consoles except the original Switch. The SNES could play NES games, the Wii could play GameCube games and the DS could play Game Boy games. The idea of a Switch 2 without support for the current console is, frankly, baffling.
A new leak from Portuguese website Universo Nintendo claims that the Nintendo Switch 2 specs support both physical and digital backward compatibility. With Nintendo accounts finally transferring for the new system instead of forcing you to make a new one, you’ll be able to re-download all of your purchased titles for the first time in Nintendo history.
Alongside playing old games, Nintendo is following the practices of Sony and Microsoft by allowing developers to release Switch 2 upgrades for games. This means that games such as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be able to benefit from increased resolutions, framerates and more on the next-gen handheld.
With games like Doom Eternal, The Witcher 3 and Wolfenstein 2 pushing the Switch to its absolute limits, the new handheld would be able to provide even better experiences for those games on the go. However, it’s not clear how much of the Switch 2’s extra power these upgrades will be able to tap into.
The Nintendo Switch 2 will also reportedly support Nvidia DLSS and hardware-accelerated ray-tracing. This means that games with Switch 2 updates that end up supporting these features could look leagues better than their current Switch counterparts.
At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch 2 has not been confirmed or acknowledged by Nintendo, despite dev kits being out in the wild. Currently, hundreds of game developers are working on titles for the next Nintendo Switch, and it’s a genuinely exciting time to be a Nintendo fan.
The Nintendo Switch 2 is reported to release in 2024.