Nintendo was extremely successful with the release of the Nintendo Switch, but this wasn’t the first time they tried to make a device that was for console and handheld play both. They have tried it before when they released the Nintendo Wii U. They ended up just dropping that from their things to work on and decided to head in a new direction with the Switch.

This is a completely portable device and doesn’t attach itself to a box that has to be under your TV either. When the Switch was first announced by Nintendo there was skepticism because of how the Wii U launch turned out. Even with all the uneasiness about the new portable game system by Nintendo, the launch went very well for the Switch. From the time that the Switch was confirmed to be a real thing to come, it took two years for its release to actually happen. Over the last few years since its release in October 2016, the Nintendo Switch has been a huge success and has been a hit with gamers.

Nintendo and other developers have made sure to fill the market with plenty of great games for the Switch, but there is still a huge demand for more games on a device as popular as this one. A lot of gamers that play on the Switch are hoping that Nintendo will port over all the games they can. Since this device is so popular and is portable on top of it, there seems to be an almost endless demand for more content.

One of the biggest requests for games isn’t new games necessarily though, its for Wii games to be able to be played on the Switch. It would make sense if it ended up being the case because of how Nintendo has worked in the past. The Gameboy Advance could play the Gameboy and Gameboy Color games.

The DS could then play Advance games and now the 3DS plays DS games. The Wii could play GameCube games and even included a place to plug in the GameCube controllers. The Wii U could even emulate Wii games. So, what about the Switch? Can it play Wii games at all?

Does the Nintendo Switch Work With Wii Games?

Sorry to let you down, but the answer probably isn’t the one you are looking for. The short answer to this question is no this doesn’t work. This may not be the case forever though, so keep reading. The Switch and Wii may be compatible in the future, but why did Nintendo decide to stop this long list of making new consoles compatible with the last? There is actually a pretty good reason for it.

If you are someone you know has invested in the Nintendo Switch, then you have surely realized that Nintendo has went back to using the cartridges for their home consoles. The last console they used cartridges for was the N64. The GameCube put an end to the cartridge era until now for the home console market. The Switch uses small, flash-based cartridges that are actually very similar to the 3DS cartridges.

The fact that the Switch is a portable device that you can take anywhere makes it pretty much makes it impossible to use blu-ray discs like other home consoles use. Making a portable device that uses discs make the device bulky, more fragile, and adds moving parts and noise. There has only ever been one portable game system that had a disc based system and that was the Sony PlayStation Portable. Even the next generation of it moved to using cartridges.

Seeing as how the Switch doesn’t have a disc drive, it makes it impossible to play disc based Wii games on it. The cartridges that the Switch uses are similar to that of the DS and 3DS, but are not the same. This makes it impossible to play any of the previous devices’ games on hard copy. That doesn’t mean that later on there won’t be a way to play digital copies of these games.

What About the Wii U Games Though?

As mentioned before the Wii U was not a big hit and is considered to be a failure believe it or not. But there were some games on the Wii U that people loved and earned a second chance of sorts. Nintendo has used the Wii U game library to start the Switch of with a large selection of games.

They have made sequels, enhanced games, and made improvements to Wii U games. They decided to do this so that the Switch would have a solid base of games to play and make sure that people would want to buy it and keep it around. Because of this, the Switch has a solid game library, and anyone can play it. Here is the list of Wii U games that you can play on the Nintendo Switch.

    • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: This port features all the DLC from the original release, plus an all-new battle mode
    • Splatoon 2: Splatoon 2 is similar to the original, introduces new players to the series.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: The newest game in the Donkey Kong Country series was enhanced and made better than the Wii U version of the game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, the game was pushed back in 2016 to launch to be the first game for the Switch and the final game for the Wii U instead of keeping it an exclusive.
    • Bayonetta 2: This is a sequel to Platinum Games’ Bayonetta, and both titles were ported to the Switch. These did so well that Nintendo has announced a third now.
    • Pokken Tournament DX: This is a mix of Tekken and Pokemon and was enhanced and made for the Switch
    • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition: The crossover between the Warriors franchise and Zelda hit Wii U first, then the 3DS. This from the Wii U and the 3DS titles, plus the DLC.
    • Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker: This port is a Wii U game based on the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D WorldSuper Mario Odyssey-themed levels. It launched on July 13th, 2018.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: This game is based on a Wii U game and isn’t necessarily a previous game.
    • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe: This is a re-released game for the Switch with new content
    • Super Mario Maker 2: It’s very similar to the original but has some changes throughout the game.