Will Nintendo Switch Pro Be Backward Compatible?


For a while now rumors have been circulating that a more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch dubbed the Nintendo Switch Pro is in the works.

Nintendo has been very tight-lipped on this new console, which has led the Nintendo Switch fanbase to do a lot of speculation online about the Nintendo Switch Pro.

Like other Nintendo Switch enthusiasts, I would be happy to know more about the Switch Pro.

Of particular interest to me is whether the Nintendo Switch Pro will be backward compatible.

Will Nintendo Switch Pro be backward compatible? It is still not clear whether the Nintendo Switch Pro will be backward compatible with the Nintendo Switch. However, having interviewed a few Nintendo game console experts, read supposed Nintendo leaks online, and Nintendo news reports from credible sources like Bloomberg, I can say it is highly likely the Switch Pro will support Nintendo Switch games. Also, because the Nintendo Switch Pro looks like an upgrade of the Nintendo Switch and not a whole new console I expect and hope it will be backward compatible.

Most gamers love being able to continue playing their favorite Nintendo games when they buy a new console.

So, the Nintendo Switch Pro having backwards compatibility will be a major plus.

In the following sections, I’ll tell you more about the Nintendo Switch’s Pro backwards compatibility, and what I know so far about the new Nintendo console.

What does Nintendo Switch Pro being backward compatible mean?

Backward compatibility means a new device can run hardware or software from an older piece of hardware without any modification.

So, if the Nintendo Switch Pro is backwards compatible it will be able to play all existing and future games of the original Nintendo Switch, which is four years old.

Not all consoles released by Nintendo have been backwards compatible.

For example, the Nintendo Switch is not backwards compatible meaning you cannot play games from its predecessor the Nintendo 3DS.

But with the Xbox Series X and PS5 having backwards compatibility, it would be surprising if Nintendo didn’t follow suit.

Why is it important for the Nintendo Switch Pro to be backward compatible?

A new console is not a cheap investment.

So, it is understandable why many gamers are asking if the Nintendo Switch is backwards compatible.

I can think of several reasons why the answer to this question is important.

1: The current Nintendo Switch has a lot of fantastic games which many gamers would like to continue playing if they decide to buy the Nintendo Switch Pro.

2: When a new console is launched it usually has a handful of titles released with it. If the Switch Pro is backwards compatible you’ll be able to play your old games as you wait for its exclusive Nintendo Switch games. Backwards compatibility will also mean you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars on a shiny new console that has limited titles.

3: Games like consoles can be expensive. So before someone buys a new console they would like to know that it will not render their current Nintendo games useless.

4: For Nintendo, including backwards compatibility on the Switch Pro will be a strong selling point. This one feature will provide extra value to Nintendo Switch Pro owners and will be a huge incentive for many to buy the console.

The most asked Nintendo Switch Pro questions

Apart from whether the Nintendo Switch Pro will be backward compatible, I’m sure you have a lot more questions about this new console.

While there isn’t a lot of solid information on the Nintendo Switch Pro yet, below I try to answer some of the key questions being asked about the new console from what I know so far about it.

I will be sure to update these answers as and when I hear more about the Switch Pro.

When will the Nintendo Switch Pro be released?

Nintendo usually reveals its consoles months before they’re available in stores.

The Nintendo Switch was unveiled in October 2016 but wasn’t in stores for a full six months.

The Nintendo Wii was revealed a year before its launch.

The Nintendo Switch Lite was revealed in July 2019 and was available for purchase in September of the same year.

This Nintendo Strategy, which we expect Nintendo to follow with the Nintendo Switch Pro, gives the company enough time to create plenty of buzz around their new consoles, and ensure its launch happens without any hitch.

What gaming industry insiders say is the Nintendo Switch Pro could be unveiled during E3 2021, which will be held from 12th to 15th June. Nintendo may also choose to unveil the Switch pro a little earlier to give developers the chance to show off their games at E3.

E3 is a popular conference where publishers, software developers, and hardware manufacturers in the video game industry reveal new and upcoming products.

If revealed at E3 rumor has it that production of the Switch Pro will be ramped up this summer to allow for a September or October release.

What specs will the Nintendo Switch Pro have?

The Tegra X2 will likely power the Switch Pro. The Tegra X2 is backward compatible with the Tegra X1, the chip that powered the original Switch.

Again, nothing is confirmed here but from what we have gathered from those privy to behind the scenes development of the Nintendo Switch Pro, the new console will have:

  • A 7” 720p OLED screen. This screen made by Samsung will be larger than the 6.2” 1280 x 720 multi-touch capacitive LCD screen on the current Nintendo Switch.
  • A more Power GPU/CPU. Enables higher fidelity graphics/larger worlds.
  • Nvidia DLSS. This technology will provide 4K graphics for your games when the Switch Pro is docked.
  • 8GB RAM which is double that of the current Nintendo Switch. 
  • 128GB storage up from the current console’s 32GB. With 128GB storage, you might not have to buy a microSD card for a while.
  • Better battery life.The current Nintendo Switch when fully charged lets you play games for 4.5 to 9 hours depending on the game you’re playing. Nintendo insiders say the Nintendo Switch Pro will have a longer battery.

How much will the Nintendo Switch Pro cost?

A recent Bloomberg Nintendo Switch Pro report claimed that the new console will be priced higher than the current Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch which comes with two Joy-Con controllers and a TV dock sells at $299.

One thing I know for sure is the Nvidia tech and Samsung OLED screen won’t come cheap.

Nintendo insiders say the Switch Pro could cost between $349.99 and $399.99.

What games will be launched with the Nintendo Switch Pro?

While the Nintendo Switch Pro having backwards compatibility will allow you to play current Nintendo Switch titles, you can expect new Nintendo games that will be played exclusively on the Switch Pro to be released.

This is because Nintendo will definitely want to create games that better utilize the new console’s features like 4K graphics.

As an avid Nintendo Switch gamer, I think possible Nintendo Switch Pro launch titles would include:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. Nintendo Switch fans have been waiting for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for close to two years now. That makes this game, which would continue Link and Zelda’s adventures in Hyrule, a prime candidate for launching with the Nintendo Switch Pro.
  • Splatoon 3. Nintendo is currently developing this game so it wouldn’t be crazy to suggest that it could be ready for a concurrent release with the Nintendo Switch Pro.
  • Pokemon Legends: Arceus. The Pokemon Company recently announced in honor of Pokemon’s 25th anniversary they would be releasing Pokemon Legends: Arceus in early 2022. Nintendo launching the Switch Pro with this Pokemon spin-off would attract a lot of Nintendo’s fanbase to their new console.

Other titles likely to be developed for the Nintendo Switch Pro include Bayonetta 3 and the mysterious Metroid Prime 4.

These games would give the Nintendo Switch Pro a strong start.

In the long term, I expect the most popular Nintendo Switch titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to be enhanced for the Switch Pro.

What happens to the original Nintendo Switch once the Switch Pro is launched?

The original Nintendo Switch will likely continue to be sold for a while before it is gradually phased out.

Reportedly, the budget Nintendo Switch Lite will continue to exist alongside the Switch Pro.

Here is what I want from the Nintendo Switch Pro

Larger Joy-Cons would be handy.

If the Nintendo Switch Pro does become a reality some features I would like to see on it include:

  • 1080p in handheld mode. When played in handheld mode the current Nintendo Switch’s screen is only capable of 720p. You, therefore, don’t get to fully experience Nintendo games like Pokemon Sword and Shield and Super Mario Odyssey. 1080p in handheld mode would give gamers a better Nintendo Switch experience and a good reason to upgrade to the Switch Pro.
  • Better Bluetooth support. Only Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers can be connected wirelessly to the current Switch. I would like the new console to have improved Bluetooth so it is possible to wirelessly connect more devices without having to buy a Bluetooth adapter.

  • Larger Joy-Cons. For me, the Switch controllers feel small and uncomfortable in the hands. If Nintendo could make the Joy-cons slightly bigger and more ergonomic, playing the Switch Pro on the go will be more pleasurable.

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