Nintendo seems to have added in a highly requested feature for their next upcoming platform.
As reported by Insider Gaming, NateDrake claims third parties are testing backwards compatibility between the Switch and its successor.
To quote Nate from ResetEra directly:
“Back-compat is present to partners & testing is underway.
The major unknown seems to be the extent any such enhancements may provide.”
As implied in Nate’s statement, it isn’t just that Switch games will be playable on the next Nintendo console. There is an expected enhancement of some sort to those original Switch games, the extent of which we don’t know yet.
We have been reporting on the possibility of backwards compatibility for some time. The line that we have become familiar with is Nintendo touting the importance of Nintendo Accounts, to carry over data from the Switch to the next platform.
But, as it turns out, Nintendo Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto himself had talked about this feature. To quote him from 2022:
“Recently, however, the development environment has increasingly become more standardised, and we now have an environment that allows players to enjoy older video games on newer consoles more easily than ever before.”
Now, we have to explain that Miyamoto is not talking in abstract terms here. He is specifically explaining how the Switch became a developer environment that is very similar to making games on a PC. This is thanks to Nvidia’s technology, which not only gave them a tech leap from the weaker chips AMD was supplying them, but also greater compatibility with PC technology, such as Unreal Engine.
This made game development for the Switch closer to development on the PlayStation and Xbox, and it’s what enabled those highly lauded ‘impossible ports’ of games to the platform.
So, of course, it is much easier for Nintendo to make ports of old games to the Switch, and that is the reason we received Nintendo 64 games via Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.
Miyamoto’s statement may be relevant even to the Switch 2, as we have become accustomed to refer to the Switch’s successor. We assume the standardized development environment will also be there on the Switch 2, to make it easier for third party developers to bring their games to the platform.
If Nintendo desires more third parties to bring their high profile games, they have to make game development easy on the Switch 2, as easy as possible. It’s under such an environment that it is easy to speculate that Nintendo is enabling better performance for Switch games.
So, should we be looking forward to 4K 60 FPS upscaling of those original Switch games? Maybe not, but Nintendo will definitely want to push an upgrade from what the Switch can do now. If the rumors are true, we may find out as soon as next month.