Wii U to Switch transfer?


Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2016
Wii U
I'm not sure whether or not i'll have to buy Smash 4, Splatoon and what other ports again or be able to transfer them straight from my Wii u.

I have realized pretty much no one ever has talked about this so i decided to make this thread. Personally i think i will probably need to buy them all again which will suck, but at least we get smash around launch.
Wii u games cannot be played directly on the Switch. They have to be ported to the Tegra/Pascal chip, made single-screen only, and put on a cartridge.

That being said, I think at least giving you a discount on the eShop if you own the Download version of the Wii U game should really be standard fare - or at bare minimum trade-ins at a reasonable cost for disk to cartridge swaps.
I'll probably just keep whatever Wii U games I have on Wii U and buy only new games for Switch.
That would be cool. Only problem is that i hate the wii u! I was going to get it, but it was so bad i just didn't, so i have no wii u games to transfer xD The switch should still be cool though?
The Only Things I Can see Being transferred from the Wii U to The Nintendo Switch is the Games from the Wii U being made into Updated Ports made into Cartridges.
Wii u games cannot be played directly on the Switch. They have to be ported to the Tegra/Pascal chip, made single-screen only, and put on a cartridge.

That being said, I think at least giving you a discount on the eShop if you own the Download version of the Wii U game should really be standard fare - or at bare minimum trade-ins at a reasonable cost for disk to cartridge swaps.
Not necessarily. Virtual Console is essentially an emulator, so the chip will not matter, as the software environment will be able to handle that. As a programmer myself, I know this is physically possible, so it's just a question of whether they decide to do it or not. One limitation would be that you wouldn't be able to play dual screen games if only playing it via the handheld (as there would only be one screen, so would not work for games that require both when using that method), but no reason at all why it couldn't be done for when playing the Switch via the TV (as from a physical device point of view, you would essentially have two screens in exactly the same way that the WiiU did). So is just a simple matter of getting the emulation software to input and output to those two screens when it reads the game data in its native code. All an emulator is essentially doing, is simply interpreting the native code and outputting what each command does to the physical device's drivers. We know that the Switch has enough buttons and screens to map these commands to their equivalents of what it would have done to the WiiU. The emulator is simply the virtual console environment designed to handle that communication. One challenge they would still have if doing it that way though is that when the Switch is played on the TV screen, it needs to be physically slotted into the home console hub, so you'd be back to the problem of only having one screen again if done that way. However, even this can be handled via the software at the emulator's driver communication layer level, as you simply design the Virtual Machine environment to communicate with both screens so that it wouldn't have to be docked into the hub when playing games via the WiiU Virtual Console environment, and it would essentially work just like the WiiU. It's all doable via software, so all this is completely doable. But I strongly suspect that this will not be supported straight away (so if they ever did it, it would probably only come later as a system update) and even then there is a huge possibility that they might not even bother. But I just wanted to point out that it is still physically possible if ever they had the will to do so. (just don't hold your breath).
No, grahamf is right, the games need to be recompiled for ARM and tested and stuff.

The problem is, emulating any device takes a lot of power. Tons. So much that I'm not completely certain Wii 1 games will run on the Switch emulated. Remember the Wii U had special backwards compatible hardware for it.
Depends how you do it. There's a messy workaround way of doing it, and a straightforward clean way of doing it (which requires much less processing). The messy way (which is most common) is to get it to read the file in its original format, translate the code, and recompile it in the new format in real-time. (this does take a lot of power to do, so is extremely slow and buggy). This method definitely does require alot more processing power in order to handle it, and is most likely to just crash if the hardware was not powerful enough to handle it, because it's trying to chug through parsing and compiling alot more data on each iteration all at once in real-time. Many PC based emulators do it this way, because it's easier for the programmer to do, but it's wasteful, so is a really sloppy way to encode it. (Most PCs can handle all these extra wasted steps though if it's powerful enough, so it's not so big of an issue in that context, which is why you will most often see the simpler but lazier method used). But you're right, as the switch is designed for purpose, they most likely haven't allowed for all that extra power. (Come to think of it, the graphics chip may not be able to handle simultaneous video output either for the two screens, so probably still wouldn't work).

But assuming you didn't have the graphics card problem, and were designing it for two comparably powered pieces of hardware. Here is the clean way of doing it, that doesn't require all that extra processing...

The clean way to do it from a coding standpoint that totally eliminates all that superfluous extra reinterpreting/recompiling.etc, is to simply build the emulator as a software based OS in and of itself. (The difference is, you would build this so that it instead reads the code in its native language in its already pre-compiled state, without having to interpret or recompile anything). The bit you would have to redesign for that OS though would be the hardware driver mapping layer. You would basically need to reconfigure that layer so that each natively read function directly calls the machine addresses of the drivers from your new hardware, instead of the drivers it would have called from the hardware it was originally designed for. Creating this OS would indeed need testing for bugs when building it. (and would still probably be wise to test individual games aswell, so that you can catch any unforeseen errors).

But as all this is not likely to happen anyway for the Switch given its graphics limitations, all this is kind of irrelevant now. (I just thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss). Being as you mentioned that you're getting back into games programming again, I thought you might find it useful if I shared some of this (in case you found it helpful to share programming techniques from eachother that we've each picked up along the way). -I don't want to come off as patronizing though (and it's also possible that you know plenty of stuff that I don't). Most of what I have learned has been from my experience in a PC based context, so it is entirely possible that some of these concepts may not necessarily be transferable in a console based context. (So if you do happen to spot anything like that which you know for a fact won't work in the way I have explained, then please feel free to chime in and correct me). New knowledge is always useful, so will never be considered patronizing, and is always welcome. ;)
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I just think you are talking best case scenario. The Switch appears to have a lot of RAM and GPU GFLOPS to make it more powerful than the Wii U typically if both games were equally optimized. But the Wii U has a special CPU, doesn't need to worry as much about thermals, and has better memory bandwidth. My own testing has shown me that for example, say you have two graphics cards one with twice the ROPs and TMUs, and one with half but twice the memory bandwidth, you cannot say that the card marketed and sometimes performing 66-100% faster is indeed twice the speed. There will be many situations where it isn't.

And the Wii U and Switch will be close enough in performance that if you introduce any overhead from the emulation, it may very well backfire.

This is my personal opinion. My opinion basically states that while you might be right in theory, if you can achieve this is practice, you deserve to be a CEO of a programming company or at least earn $100k a year doing your job.

(I own a Shield TV now, which is the device out there at retail that is closest to the Switch. And though the Shield TV delivers impressive benchmarking results due to NVIDIA optimizations and other reasons, if you throw a heavy game at it, beyond say Half-Life 2, it, like an Intel IGP, will end up being handicapped by the 25.6GB memory bandwidth. You reach a certain point where it would hardly even matter whether you are using Maxwell or Pascal because of the low memory bandwidth. My conclusion is "Shield TV is not as awesomesauce as people think." In fact, achieving twice the resolution on Mario Kart 8 on Switch probably took a few developers and hurdles. Not sure though.)
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Excellent answer! -Thanks for all your added insight!

I think you're probably right about all this, so the more we discuss it, it is looking devastatingly like my dream of WiiU Virtual Console content ever coming to the Switch is probably never going to happen. Not the end of the world though, I will be keeping my WiiU, and having both that and my Switch permanently hooked up to the TV, so I can still get to play both sets of games. (There's so much on the WiiU that I'm no where near ready to abandon yet. There's quite a bit on the Wii too, for that matter, but at least that's all playable from the WiiU system) so the setup I intend to use will allow me to play all three.

The only thing I have to be careful of is if my WiiU ever dies on me! (might have to buy another WiiU as a backup so that I can at least keep all my games and progress in the event that ever happens). It happened to me once already since I've owned it (CD drives being so darned vulnerable, and all that), That's one thing I'm grateful for with the Switch being cartridges again. -They're definitely alot more robust that way. All my older DS consoles, and even my Gameboy advance and original NES still work as good as the day I bought them due to that fact (in ways that the GameCube never could). So going forward, I hope cartridges are what Nintendo continue to use on all future consoles. CDs and DVDs were just a horrible horrible format, and I'll be glad to see the end of them for that reason. Even though I don't play many of the older consoles so much anymore it's a shame to know that anything that's ever used a CD drive will eventually reach a point where they can never be used again, and get relegated to the scrapheap forever. It sorta feels like an important part of history just gets lost.
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Unfortunately, NO MORE WII Us are Being made worldwide!!
Unfortunately, NO MORE WII Us are Being made worldwide!!
Very true. Though while it's true they're no longer being manufactured anymore, there are loads of local stores that still have stock of brand new WiiU consoles that haven't sold out yet. So fortunately it'll still be fairly easy able to get one brand new without having to go the reconditioned route (providing of course I don't leave it too long).

(There are still plenty of brand new ones available on amazon aswell, if you know where to look!) :)



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