Nintendo’s Switch has been a success, with many gamers loving its ability to switch from handheld gaming to a home console and back again. However, with the Switch being specifically designed for games that are playable on tablets and smartphones, gamers have asked whether or not they can play Wii games on it. The answer is no… sort of. But there’s also an explanation as to why you cannot play Wii games directly on the Nintendo Switch. It has nothing to do with technical limitations; rather, the reasons are more historical in nature. If you don’t know what that means then read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know about playing Wii games on your Nintendo Switch.
Can You Play Wii Games on Switch?
No, you cannot play Wii games on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch uses a different format than the Wii and Wii U, so games from those systems are not compatible. However, you can purchase and download games from the Nintendo eShop to enjoy on your Switch. If you already have Wii games, you can still play them on your Wii console. The Switch is not backward compatible with older game systems.
How To Play Wii Games On The Switch?
Install the Wii Channel
The first item on our list is actually an entire Wii Channel, Wii Shop Channel. Wii owners can download this channel to their Switch and play Wii games directly from the console, no disc is required. If you own Wii discs that contain Wii games, you can use the Wii Shop Channel on Switch to play them by transferring the games from the discs onto your Switch’s internal memory. Note that you’ll need an SD card to complete the transfer. There are many Wii discs that contain Wii Shop Channel software. If you own a Wii disc with Wii games on it, there’s a good chance that you have a Wii Shop Channel disc. You can also purchase Wii games through the Wii Shop Channel, but keep in mind that you must transfer them to your Switch’s internal storage again if you want to play them on the go.
Transfer Game Discs to Your SD Card
As mentioned above, you can use the Wii Shop Channel to transfer Wii games from Wii discs to your Switch. However, if you don’t own a Wii disc with the Wii Shop Channel on it, you can use the Switch’s built-in functionality to transfer Wii games from discs directly to your system’s internal storage. With Wii games saved to your Switch’s internal storage, you can play them directly from the console without having to transfer them to an SD card. This process is a little complicated, so we recommend consulting a guide if you want to transfer Wii games to your Switch’s internal memory.
Download Wii Games from the Nintendo eShop
As the name suggests, the Nintendo eShop is a digital storefront for Nintendo-published games. All Nintendo Switch owners have access to the eShop on their system, so you can use this feature to purchase and download Wii games directly to your system. Many Wii games are available for download on the Nintendo eShop, including Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Metroid Prime Trilogy. The selection of Wii games varies from month to month, so be sure to check the store frequently if you want to snap up all your favorites. There are some limitations to downloading Wii games from the eShop. You can only download Wii games that support Wii Mode, meaning that you’ll have to ensure that the games are properly installed.
Buy Digital Copies of Wii Games
Some Wii games are exclusive to the eShop and won’t be available for download on any other platform. However, if you want to play certain Wii games, your only option is to buy a digital copy of the game directly from the eShop. You can use the eShop on your Nintendo Switch to buy Wii games, like Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. You can also use the Wii U to buy Wii games and transfer them to your Switch if your Wii U is hooked up to the internet.
Sync Wii Motes to your Switch
Nintendo Switch owners can use the console’s “Joy-Con” controllers for many modern games. However, if you want to play Wii games, you must attach the Wii’s “Wiimote” controllers to your Switch. You can use a “Sync-Card” to sync Wii remotes to your Switch. This card has the same functionality as Wii controllers and can be purchased online or at any major retailer.
Why You Cannot Play Wii Games On Switch?
The Switch is not backward compatible
The Switch is a newer device than either the Wii or the Wii U, and as a result, it is not backward compatible. This means that the hardware inside the Switch is not capable of reading the software from previous Nintendo systems. This is why you cannot play your old Wii games on the Switch. The Switch was designed for new software, not for reading decades-old data. Because the Switch is a newer device, it does not have the same ports that the Wii and Wii U have. This means that you cannot plug your old Wii controllers into the Switch like you could with the previous systems. The ports are different sizes and in different locations on the Switch. This means that it is not plug-and-play like it was with the other systems.
Wii Games are not Digital
Another thing to remember is that Wii games were not all digital. Back before the Wii U, Nintendo was pushing hard for people to move to digital games and discs. Wii games were mostly physical, which means that you cannot play them on the Switch unless you have a Wii U and a Wii U game dock. The game dock is needed because it lets you plug the Wii discs into the system. You cannot insert Wii games into the Switch because it has a completely different disc size. The disc size on the Switch is smaller and thinner than the discs on previous Nintendo consoles. This means that you cannot stack or exchange discs on the Switch. You also cannot put your Wii discs into the Switch like you can with the Wii U. This is due to the different disc sizes and the lack of a disc drive on the Switch. You cannot physically put the discs into the system like you could with the Wii U.
The Wii U is also not backward compatible
The Wii U is also not backward compatible. This means that you cannot play Wii U games on the Switch or Wii games on the Wii U. The Wii U has been discontinued by Nintendo, so there is no system software update that can bring compatibility between the two systems. The Wii U was also an upgrade from the Wii, so it used a different type of hardware. The Wii U is an entirely different system than the Wii, and it is not compatible with any of the software or discs of the Wii. This means that the Disc-based Virtual Console games on the Wii U are not available to play on the Switch. The Wii U used discs for Wii games and Wii U games, but the Switch only uses cartridges for the Switch games. This means that the Switch has no use for Wii discs and Wii games.
How To Playing Wii Games Via Nintendo’s Virtual Console?
- One way to play Wii games on Switch is to play them via the Nintendo Virtual Console. The Virtual Console is a program that lets you play classic games for various Nintendo platforms via the Nintendo eShop.
- There are lots of games available for the Virtual Console, including many titles for the Wii. Unfortunately, you can’t play Wii games on Switch via the Virtual Console because the games are only playable on the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS handheld consoles.
- The good news is that if you own a 3DS or 2DS, you can download Wii games and play them on your handheld console. Playing Wii games on the 3DS isn’t perfect, but it comes with a few advantages that don’t exist on the Switch.
- The biggest advantage is that you’ll be able to play in tabletop mode, which is something that is not possible with the Switch.
If you want to play Wii games on your Switch, you’ve got a few options. While none of them are ideal, they’re better than not being able to play them at all. The best option is to get a Wii emulator for your Switch, though you’ll also need a way to play Wii games on your phone, too. Unfortunately, this is a complicated process, and it’s not something that most people are going to be able or willing to do. If you’re a Nintendo Switch owner who loves the console but wishes you could play Wii games on it, there are ways that you can do that. It’s not easy, and it’s not something that most people will want to do.