Nintendo Switch 2 will be backwards compatible, what does it mean?

At the moment, Nintendo has not announced its new generation console and by now we should forget about an improved iteration in the form of Switch Pro. However, they have clarified one of the biggest fears on the part of users and fans of the brand. , knowing if our current games will be playable on the next console. Well, they have confirmed that Switch 2 will be backward compatible with current games. What does that mean? Let’s see

Since the launch of the original Game Boy, Nintendo’s handheld consoles have had a common feature with each new improvement, the fact that they are backwards compatible with the previous generation. So, 3DS was with DS, it is with Game Boy Advance which in turn was compatible with Game Boy Color and so on until the original Game Boy. However, this did not happen with the current Nintendo Switch and there were some doubts that we would see it for the next generation of consoles, despite being practically confirmed.

Nintendo confirms it, Switch 2 will be backwards compatible

They have done it in the form of a response given by the shareholders publicly, in which they have finally clarified that we will be able to use the games of the current Nintendo Switch in the successor, which by the way has not been announced. How little did we know so far? Well, the confirmation by Nintendo of the launch of a new system with an undetermined date and the theft of documentation from NVIDIA a few months ago, which confirmed the project and at least the partial technical specifications of the graphics hardware, but this did not guarantee that Switch 2 would be backwards compatible.

We must start from the fact that the great difference between consoles and PCs is the fact that what we call already compiled shaders are used in the former, that is, the process of generating the code for the graphics card is not done on the fly as there is a hardware unique, which is what happens on PC. We have to start from the fact that despite a graphic architecture has the same brand as another, it does not have to use the same binaries. Luckily, on computers this is taken into account and there is always a compilation of binaries, but not on consoles.

Information leaked from Switch 2 a few months ago spoke of the use of a GPU integrated in the processor with 12 SM based on Ampere architecture, let’s not forget that Switch is based on Maxwell architecture. So the future Nintendo console, unless there are last minute changes, something that we should not rule out, it will be a jump of four graphic generations at least. However, we must recognize that we are basing ourselves only on the technical and it is best to go for other things.

What are the practical effects that backward compatibility will have?

The fact that Switch 2 being backwards compatible means that we will be able to use the same game cards and downloads already purchased on the future console without having to go through the box. As long as Nintendo doesn’t come up with some draconian way to charge us for the update.

At the same time, it also means that they will continue to use the same operating system as the current version and that it will be more, unless they surprise us with a unique invention, a fairly continuous console in terms of approach. In any case, we believe that they are stretching the gum of their current console too much and we would like to see what they can do with a much more powerful system, at the level of the Steam Deck or higher.

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