Nintendo talks about new hardware development and backwards compatibility

Fans are still waiting for Nintendo to finally announce either a successor to the Nintendo Switch or a mid-cycle upgrade.

Shigero Miyamoto just "confirmed" Nintendo is working on a new console but he refuses to say if it will have backwards compatibility.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are expecting Nintendo to skip and release a successor to the Switch instead of a Switch Pro.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are expecting Nintendo to skip and release a successor to the Switch instead of a Switch Pro.

At a recent investors meeting, Miyamoto fielded questions about the business feasibility of backwards compatibility where he mentioned how much easier it is these days to make a console that can support older games. In a translation found on ResetEra, Miyamoto said it's much easier to "create a playable environment that allows software for past hardware to be played on new hardware than before."

But, Miyamoto also mentioned that, "Nintendo's strength is in creating new games." Miyamoto added that "new hardware" means "unique games that cannot be realized on existing hardware."

There are two key takeaways from what Miyamoto just said. For one, Miyamoto effectively confirmed Nintendo will never make hardware that will support backwards compatibility like the Xbox. Also, Miyamo just talked about new hardware.

Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa, previously refused to talk about new hardware by Nintendo. In August, a report claims that Nintendo will not release new hardware this fiscal year. Now, the creator of Mario and The Legend of Zelda, just went on a lengthy talk about new hardware.

Nintendo Talks New Hardware Backwards Compatibility
Miyamoto's words suggest that Nintendo isn't interested in making a backwards compatible console at all.

As one of Nintendo's representative directors, his words carry a lot of weight. It's surprising that he's open to talking about new hardware when the rest of the company refuses to talk about it to the point that it's somewhat taboo. More importantly, a part of his statement is suggesting that Nintendo already has specific games in development for new hardware.

Is Miyamoto talking about the Switch Pro console or successor that's rumored to use the Tegra239 chip? Is Nintendo still going to release a mid-cycle upgrade for the Switch outside of the Switch OLED? It's highly unlikely that we'll find out earlier than the company's next earnings call.

Until then, fans can look forward to the company's most highly anticipated games, including Pokemon Scarlet and Violet on November 18 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on May 12.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.