New evidence has surfaced, suggesting that Nintendo’s upcoming console might feature backward compatibility.
While previous rumors regarding a backward-compatible Switch successor have emerged, they were primarily based on insider reports rather than Nintendo’s own disclosures, as is the case now.
Historically, Nintendo has maintained a tradition of offering backward-compatible systems. The Wii U played the entire Wii library, the Wii supported GameCube games, the 3DS played DS titles, and the DS ran Game Boy Advance games.
However, the Switch deviated from this trend. Its successor, though, could return to the compatibility fold, as indicated by a recent job listing for a technology engineer at Nintendo European Research and Development (NERD).
Job Listing Hints at Cross-Platform Development
This recently discovered posting emphasizes “cross-platform development” for “current and next-generation Nintendo platforms” as a key aspect of the advertised position. At a minimum, this suggests that Nintendo doesn’t plan to halt Switch game production in the near future.
Although the backward-compatible Switch successor aligns with earlier rumors about Nintendo’s next console, the job listing might also refer to NERD’s R&D efforts in bringing Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) to the company’s upcoming system. Shigeru Miyamoto, a legendary game director, hinted that backward compatibility remains a focus for Nintendo.
He mentioned that modern efforts to standardize development environments make backward compatibility easier than ever—potentially indicating that the next Nintendo console will capitalize on this technology.
NSO Library Expansion and Nvidia’s Role
While the current NSO library caters to gamers seeking to enjoy older classics on the latest hardware, its catalog remains limited. However, the number of available NSO games continues to grow, making it plausible that Nintendo aims to maintain this momentum with its next console.
Past reports indicating that the next Nintendo system will utilize an Nvidia-made chipset also bolster the likelihood of the upcoming console offering backward compatibility. As the Switch is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra X1, having its successor use a system-on-chip from the same company could feasibly alleviate architectural challenges in delivering downward-compatible hardware.
It’s important to note that backward compatibility can also be achieved through software emulation, but this differs from the “high-performance implementation” of cross-platform gaming mentioned in NERD’s newly surfaced job listing.
But first things first, Nintendo has to make sure that their trophy console Switch is having unprecedented battery problems.