Nintendo Exec Drops a Promising Clue About the Switch 2

Electric Boogaloo.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: A competitor plays Pokemon on a Nintendo Switch console during the 2022...
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Nintendo has said virtually nothing about its new console, which is rumored to launch sometime in 2024 or beyond. We don’t know if it will function like the Nintendo Switch, if it will support cartridges, or if it will offer some sort of gimmick feature. But thanks to a recent investor Q&A with the company, we now know that the next console will utilize Nintendo Accounts, just like the Switch. While this doesn’t offer much information about the system itself, it does have some implications about potential features, mainly backward compatibility.

Nintendo wants to make it easy for users to transition from the Switch to the next console. There are more than 290 million Nintendo Accounts worldwide, and 125 million Switch systems sold as of May 2023. From a business perspective, it makes sense for Nintendo to make it easy to transition to its next system.

The company’s next system will utilize Nintendo Accounts, possibly indicating that backward compatibility will be featured.

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“As for the transition from Nintendo Switch to the next generation machine, we want to do as much as possible in order to smoothly transition our customers, while utilizing the Nintendo Account,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said, as translated by Genki on Twitter.

Given the volume of Switch systems and Nintendo Accounts, it would certainly be asking a lot for users to start from scratch with the next console. Being able to access all of your previously purchased digital games via the Nintendo Account on the next system would be a massive win for consumers. While it’s unknown if the next system will support cartridges or physical media at all, it should give users access to their digital Switch purchases at the very least.

And Nintendo does have a history of implementing backward compatibility, at least in some capacity (for instance, the Wii U could play Wii games and the 3DS could play DS games), so there is precedent in this regard. Though, the company has been stubborn about allowing digital purchases to carry over from generation to generation thus far. For example, digital Wii U games aren’t compatible with the Nintendo Switch.

It’s unclear what the next Nintendo system will be, but the company seems focused on making the transition easy for consumers.


Unfortunately, Nintendo isn’t shy about selling the same game to its consumers across multiple generations. We’ve seen this before with New Super Mario Bros. U, which initially launched for Wii U before being ported to Nintendo Switch with a $60 price tag (regardless of if you purchased the Wii U version). Likewise, Virtual Console games on Wii did not carry over to 3DS, which were totally separate from the Nintendo Switch Online games.

But maybe things will work differently on the next system. Consumers may be more open to purchasing a new console if they immediately have a library of games to play on it. Sony did this with the PS5, allowing users to play pretty much all digitally purchased PS4 games right from the start.

Based on Furukawa’s quote, the company seemingly wants to “do as much as possible” to make things easy for its consumers, and what better way than to offer digital backward compatibility with its next system? While we don’t know if this will come to be, we do know you’ll be using your Nintendo Account on the next system.

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