Can you play Wii games on Nintendo switch? No you can’t! The Nintendo Switch is one of the best consoles of the current generation. Nintendo plays the console wars on a very different level as compared to other video game companies.
While you can say that the company is competing for the same market as Sony and Microsoft, its products are always intuitive and different. In fact, the company has always tried something new with its consoles.
The Nintendo Wii, which was a smash hit back in the mid-2000s when it was released, introduced the Wii Remote, which made gaming so much more interactive.
It ended up selling more than 120 million units, and was one of the most popular consoles of its time. Obviously, the console was not designed to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 3 or Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
Instead, it was simply created to complement those. Most people who owned a Nintendo Wii at the time also had either an Xbox or a PlayStation 3.
That’s primarily because of the company’s slew of Nintendo exclusives, which have a cult following around the globe. In 2012, the company released the Wii U.
It was designed to be an upgrade over the Nintendo Wii, and to improve on its success. However, the Wii U couldn’t even live up to its expectations.
The main attractive feature of the Wii U was the introduction of a screen in the controller, which was like a tablet this time. The bulky controller, coupled with the boring games available on the platform, soon turned it into a bleeder for Nintendo.
The company wasn’t able to sell enough of it as it wanted, and it wasn’t long before they were looking at something new. Within a mere five years, the company decided to shelf the Nintendo Wii U, and introduced a new way of gaming: the Nintendo Switch.
Learning from its expensive Wii U Failure, Nintendo began porting all of the hit third-party titles, including games such as Doom and even Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Obviously, these were older games (Skyrim was released in 2011 and Doom was released in 2016). However, paired with the ingenuity and design of the Nintendo Switch, it was soon considered a massive hit.
The Nintendo Switch’s sales were also bolstered by the launch releases of two of the company’s biggest titles: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. These were stellar releases and are still in high demand today.
They took gaming to a whole new level, and made sure that people paid attention to Nintendo’s console offering. Not only that, but the company continued pumping out exclusives and began porting games from other third-party developers.
The Nintendo Switch was highly praised for its ability to easily be played on a handheld, and then get the full display as soon as you put it online.
It’s one of the best game consoles out there for people who are on the move. The intuitive portability and the functionality of the Nintendo Switch has made it one of the best gaming consoles of its time.
The best part is that this translated to sales as well, with the Nintendo Switch consistently outperforming the PS4 and even the PS5, which are both market leaders.
However, while the Nintendo Switch library is downright excellent and continues to grow, many people still demand more games.
Despite the fact that the Nintendo Wii sold poorly, there were some pretty excellent games on the console that many people liked. A number of fans have been making requests to Nintendo for allowing backward compatibility on the Switch.
Nintendo has had a pretty good relationship with offering their fans just what they want, and many of their consoles are backward compatible as well.
The Wii, for instance, offered full support for the GameCube consoles, and even provided ports for GameCube controllers. In fact, the Wii U was fully backward compatible, and offered support for all the Wii games. But, can the Switch play these games?
Can You Play Wii Games On Nintendo Switch?
The answer to this question is a resounding no. Currently, the Switch only plays games from the Switch. There are several reasons for this move.
However, before you decide to look for alternatives, it’s important that you consider them and understand why the company decided to prevent backward compatibility on its devices.
Disc Versus Flash
If you own a Switch, you should know that it doesn’t require any discs. In fact, the company made the change from discs since the N64, which was released back in 2001.
The cartridges for the Nintendo Switch are generally quite small, and make use of flash-based technology. It’s relatively similar to the cartridges that were produced for the 3DS and the Nintendo DS.
Using Blu-Ray discs was virtually impossible because the Nintendo Switch was designed for gaming on the go. The disc-based system would require moving parts in the console, which would mean that the console would have to be kept stationary.
Because the company moved to Flash-based technology and no longer supported discs, it was impossible to play any games from the Nintendo Wii, which required discs.
More importantly, if you compare the shape of the Nintendo Switch cartridges with the shape of the 3DS and the DS, you will realize that they are slightly taller in shape and generally bigger.
However, what about digital copies of these games? What if you could play digital copies of the games that were released on the Wii and older console generations?
What Games Can You Find on the Switch From the Nintendo Wii?
Even though the Nintendo Switch does not offer native support for Nintendo Wii games, there are quite a few releases that have made it to the Switch owing to popular demand.
These are official ports, and they come with significant improvements in graphics, and the controls have also been ported to match those of the Switch. Here are the official ports for the releases on the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: the game is finally releasing on the Nintendo Switch within a few months. It is expected to hit the stores in the middle of 2021 and was announced at the company’s Nintendo Direct.
There was quite a bit of controversy around the motion controls used for the game. However, this official port will only support physical controls, so it’s expected to be a big hit.
Xenoblade Chronicles – Definitive Edition: the game is a cult classic and there was considerable demand for Nintendo to release this on the Switch.
This is a JPRG and was not easy to find in the North American regions on the Nintendo Wii. However, the game is going to be available on the Nintendo Switch and is going to feature a host of improvements, including upgraded graphics.
Super Mario Galaxy: this game was released as part of a limited physical release of three games in one collection: the Super Mario All-Stars. This game was only available for a specific period of time, though you can buy physical copies secondhand from different stores or from other people.
There are also a host of third-party classics that are available for the Nintendo Switch that were originally released for the Wii. These include Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz and games such as de Blob.
What About the Wii U Library?
Most of Nintendo’s consoles have been directly compatible with each previous generation, so the Nintendo Switch does come as a surprise.
Nintendo has wholeheartedly admitted that the reduced life span of the Nintendo Wii U was a problem and that the console was deemed a complete failure. However, they did learn quite a few things from the release.
That’s not to say that the games released on the console were of equally poor quality. In fact, there were some games on the Wii U that were actually quite fantastic.
Many of the Switch’s top-selling games were released on the Nintendo Wii U as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular games that were released on both the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
This was one of the most popular games released for the Nintendo Wii. Millions demanded it for the Switch, and it actually sold several million.
There have been many upgrades to this version, especially in terms of graphics. Those frustrating dips in frame rates have also been worked out and the game is excellent on the Nintendo Switch.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Arguably one of the most popular games released for the Nintendo Wii U, the Mario Kart 8 was so good that the company released it again for the Switch, this time with the “Deluxe” tag.
It included all of the downloadable content that was introduced for the original game and it also introduced a new battle mode as well. Without a doubt, this is one of the best games in the Mario Kart franchise.
Even though Splatoon 2 was not essentially a remake, the game is actually a major upgrade on the original, both in terms of graphics and performance.
Playability has also been considerably improved, with the Joy Cons now playing an active role in targeting and shooting. Splatoon is one of the company’s new IPs, and it has become a major hit as it is.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Arguably the greatest game released for the previous generation across all platforms, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was also released for the Nintendo Wii U.
This might come as a surprise to most people, but the game was originally slated to be an exclusive for the Wii U.
Nintendo, in a stroke of genius, pushed back the launch date and released the game as a launch title for the Switch, which no doubt helped in maximizing its sales.
It sold tens of millions of copies, and the company introduced a trailer confirming development for the sequel as well.
Hyrule Warriors – Definitive Edition
Hyrule Warriors is the company’s hack and slash game that introduces crossovers between the Zelda and the Warriors IPs.
It was actually originally released for the Nintendo Wii U, and then the company released it for the 3DS. Finally, it made its way onto the Nintendo Switch.
Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker
This is another popular puzzle game that was released on the Wii U, and became a cult following very quickly.
The company answered the fan’s wishes, introducing the whole package which includes all of the DLC for the original game. This is a great game for people who want some puzzle-solving on the go.
Super Mario Maker 2
The original Mario Maker offered endless hours of fun and made it easy for people to make the best of Mario however they liked.
Super Mario Maker 2, the sequel, introduced an array of new features that people had demanded from the original. As you can expect, it was a runaway hit.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
While this is actually a new entry into the franchise, with a slew of new characters and a bunch of mechanical upgrades and changes, it is easy to see that the inspiration comes from the original Smash Bros. game that was originally released for the Nintendo Wii U.
Super Mario 3D World
For the 35th anniversary of the classic Italian plumber that Nintendo created, the company introduced Super Mario 3D World.
This has been widely regarded as one of the best games of its time, and the company has decided to release it for the Nintendo Switch, with an additional new section called Bowser’s Fury. It is clear that the company has taken the franchise into a whole other direction.
Will There Ever Be Wii Support?
Unfortunately, bar digital game releases, it doesn’t seem like we will be getting official support for Wii U Games on the Nintendo Switch. That’s primarily because of the differences in the disc and the flash-based system.