Nintendo’s Switch is different from the Wii U in some significant ways. Where the Wii U was a stationary console that could only be used as a home entertainment device, the Switch is a hybrid home-and-away console. You can play it at home on your TV or table, but you can also take it with you, thanks to its ability to be played both docked and undocked. This opens up opportunities for new games that weren’t possible on Wii U, but what about older games? Can you still play those on the Nintendo Switch? Let’s find out!
Can You Play Wii U Games on Switch?
Little is known about the Wii U save file transfer process. The only thing we know is that it cannot be done through the Wii Menu, but must be done through a USB cable. If you have a Wii U and want to play games on your Switch, you can’t do that. You’ll either have to buy another copy of the game or use a USB stick to transfer your save files.
What Do You Need To Know About The Wii U Before Switch Games?
- It is a pretty bad system. The only good thing it did was introduce the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, which are still used in the Wii U.
- It has been discontinued. This means that all Wii U games will be unavailable for download on the Switch eShop. If you want to play your Wii U titles on your Switch, you will have to buy them again for $20-$40 each.
- It is not backward compatible with the Switch eShop. You can’t play any of your Wii U games on your Switch unless they are created from scratch for the new system or ported over from an older console like the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
- Sony and Microsoft own their respective systems (PS4 & Xbox One). Nintendo doesn’t own its console either (so technically speaking it isn’t a “system”). This means that Nintendo could theoretically shut down their online services at any time without warning and without giving any notice to the games, which means you’ll have to buy a new copy of your favorite Wii U game on another system if Nintendo decides to shut down their online services.
- It is a very expensive system. The Wii U has been discontinued and it is not backward compatible with the Switch eShop, which means that you have to buy all your games again if you want to play them on your Switch. Most people consider this a bad thing, but I actually think it’s a good thing because it gives Nintendo more money from every single game sold. If you think about it like this, buying a Wii U for $200 will net you over $600 in sales because of the games that are sold for around $20 each. This is going to be one of the highest-selling systems ever and one of the best-selling consoles of all time!
- It has some great games! Some fun ones like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. U, and some good ones like Super Mario 3D World, Wind Waker HD, and Splatoon.
- It has a great online service! Nintendo’s Miiverse social networking service was shut down in 2015, but the Wii U still has a great online service for playing games and chatting with friends. You can chat with friends or send messages to other people in your area, even if you aren’t playing the same game. The Wii U also has built-in voice chat that lets you talk to your friends while they are on their own system. You can also play offline games with up to eight players locally and take turns on one of the four controllers!
- It has some bad games! Some boring ones like ZombiU and Kirby: Triple Deluxe wasn’t very fun to play, but there are some other bad ones too like Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Bayonetta 2 that weren’t very good either.
- It has some great game series! Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and Pikmin are some of the best-selling game series ever. Of course, there are also games like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, and Animal Crossing that were (and still are) very popular with the public. Lastly, there are some other popular Nintendo series like Pokemon and Fire Emblem that has never been released on a Nintendo console before or since (but can be played on the 3DS).
- There’s nothing wrong with it! The Wii U is a great system that I would definitely recommend to anyone who doesn’t have an Xbox One or PS4 yet!
Why Can’t You Play Wii U Games On Switch?
- The Wii U does not have enough storage space to store the saved files of all of your games. According to Nintendo, your system has 8 GB of internal storage, but only 4 GB is available for user data. This means that the Wii U can only store save files for a maximum of 5 games at a time.
- The Wii U does not have enough processing power to run all of your games on the Switch. Nintendo’s new console comes with a custom, 64-bit CPU and custom GPU that are powerful enough for high-definition graphics and complex character models. However, it doesn’t have much memory or power to support the load of playing multiple games at once on Switch.
- The Wii U doesn’t support Bluetooth wireless technology because it is an older console model that Nintendo no longer supports with software upgrades and patches (see below). Therefore, you cannot transfer save files using Wi-Fi or USB cables on a Wii U console.
- The Wii U doesn’t support cloud storage as the Switch does. The Switch can connect to the internet wirelessly and automatically download all of your games from the Nintendo eShop. This means that you can transfer save files between two systems with a USB cable, iCloud, Dropbox, or via a cloud service such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.
- The Wii U doesn’t have any built-in memory card readers. You cannot use a memory card reader to transfer saved files between two different Nintendo systems using a USB cable.
- The Wii U doesn’t support high-definition graphics as Switch does; therefore, it can only play games in standard-definition (480p) resolution and lower frame rates than Switch games. For example: If you own the Wii version of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and want to play it on a Switch, you’ll need to buy the game again at full price because it was released for the Wii U and can only play in 480p resolution.
- The Wii U has no built-in screen reader software as the Switch does. All of Nintendo’s consoles have built-in screen reader software that allows the user to control their system with a game controller, but the Wii U does not have this feature.
- The Wii U has no way to share and save files wirelessly using a USB cable between two different Nintendo systems as the Switch can do. This means that you won’t be able to transfer saved files between your Switch and your brother’s Wii U, or any other system for that matter, without an internet connection or a memory card reader.
The Bottom Line
The Wii U and the Switch aren’t the same consoles, so it’s only natural that you can’t play all Wii U games on the Switch. That being said, there are select games that can be played on the Switch via backward compatibility with the Wii or the GameCube. If you want to play select Wii U games on the Switch, you’ll need the Wii Classic Controller Pro.