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Potential for New DS Games on the Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is quickly becoming the most versatile console on the market with its unique combination of handheld and home console play styles. With its growing library of games, there is a wide range of titles for every kind of gamer. However, many have been wondering if it can play DS games like other consoles and handhelds. As the proud owners of an impressive collection of original DS titles and remasters, the ability to play these games on the Switch seemed like a significant prospect. After all, why wouldn’t you want to explore old favorites and revisit beloved classics in enhanced graphics or better controls? But is it possible to play them on the Nintendo Switch?

To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at whether or not the Nintendo Switch can play DS games. We will also consider some potential alternatives for playing these titles on the Switch if that isn’t possible. Finally, we will examine what opportunities this might open for developers to bring more classic hit titles from past systems onto new platforms in the future:

  • Can the Nintendo Switch play DS games?
  • What potential alternatives are there for playing DS games on the Switch?
  • What opportunities does this open for developers to bring more classic hit titles from past systems onto new platforms in the future?

Overview of the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid video game console released by Nintendo in 2017. It combines features found in both home consoles and handheld devices, offering gamers the ability to play games either at home or on the go. The device features a 6.2-inch touchscreen display, an enhanced battery life compared to its predecessors, detachable controllers known as Joy-Con and various online services such as online gaming and voice chat capabilities. The Switch is compatible with several types of gaming software including physical cartridges, digital downloads or streaming service games. It is also backwards compatible with many Wii and Wii U titles.

Additionally, the Nintendo Switch can access DS games via virtual console emulation services like the Nintendo Switch Online service which allows members to access select classic titles from different platforms including NES, SNES, N64, TurboGrafx-16 and NeoGeo arcade systems among others. While this service does not provide access to all DS titles for download directly on to the system itself, it does offer tools such as save data cloud backup capabilities and exclusive offers for members that can be used for older generations’ game purchases.

What are DS Games?

DS Games, or Nintendo DS games, are video games optimized for handheld gaming consoles developed by the Japanese company Nintendo. The Nintendo DS was first released in 2004 and was designed to be the successor to the Game Boy Advance with new features such as dual screens, internet access and WiFi connectivity. The system quickly found success due to its large library of varied games. Nintendo DS games are available for a variety of genres and platforms ranging from action-adventure, racing, party games and role-playing titles. Major franchises have released multiple titles on the system including Mario Kart DS, Pokémon Diamond Version and Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

As an additional feature some titles are compatible with both single-player mode as well as local or online multiplayer modes making these games ideal for both solo play or group events with friends. With the release and subsequent popularity of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, fans began wondering whether it would be possible to add compatibility for their old DS Collection on the device allowing them to enjoy those classic titles alongside their Nintendo Switch Library. This guide will explore potential options to make this possible:

Challenges of Playing DS Games on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch offers a unique environment for gaming, but it has some significant challenges when it comes to playing DS games on the platform. DS games are not natively supported, which means that they must be emulated in order to play them. Emulation is a process whereby software code is modified to allow old programs and games, such as those made for the DS, to run on newer hardware. Emulation can be challenging because the emulators require significant amounts of computing power in order to run properly, and this can lead to performance issues with the game. Additionally, many game developers are reluctant to port older games over due to complex copyright agreements associated with the games and their proprietary code.

As a result, it is not always possible or feasible for developers to create an emulator that will reliably allow you to play DS games on your Nintendo Switch console. Furthermore, even if emulation could be accomplished successfully for certain titles released for the DS platform, there can be compatibility issues with certain hardware configurations or operating systems that can lead to a less than ideal experience when trying to play the game on the Nintendo Switch system. All of these reasons have made it difficult for users who want their favorite classic DS titles playable on their Nintendo Switch console.

Can nintendo switch play ds games

Although the Nintendo Switch does not have a built-in means of playing DS games, there are several third-party solutions available to enable the functionality. With one of these options, users can fully enjoy their old favorite games in a new console. The Nintendo Switch runs on an Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC (System on a Chip) but isn’t compatible with the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games built around them. Also, due to restrictions imposed by Nintendo, it’s impossible to physically insert a cartridge-based game into the Switch itself. Fortunately, there are several ways of emulating DS games that don’t involve traditional hardware or physical copies of games.

The most popular method involves using emulation software such as DeSmuME or Citra to emulate parts of the system. These applications make use of files that either emulate complete versions of the software or customized versions specifically designed for playability on Switch hardware. They function just like roms – once downloaded and installed onto your device, you can enjoy your retro gaming experience without any limits – from accessing controller configurations and in-game features to configuring resolution options for enhanced visual quality output. Emulators for both DeSmuME and Citra are compatible with Windows 10 PCs but may require additional compatibility software if you are running an older version of Windows or Mac OSX system.

Additionally, the streaming service Rainway allows you to stream PC gameplay directly onto your Switch; however this requires having a PC with at least 4 gigs of memory as well as solid wifi connection strength. Overall, while it is not a straightforward process by any means, playing backwards compatible DS games on the Nintendo Switch is still possible with certain third party software applications available online; users just need to ensure they have compatible storage devices as well as access fast internet networks before starting their playthroughs!


After assessing the potential for playing DS games on the Nintendo Switch, we can conclude that it is possible but not currently supported. There is a lack of official support from both Nintendo and developers. This is likely due to a double-digit decrease in 3DS sales as well as the gaming community changing platforms to focus on smartphones and PC gaming. However, homebrew creators have already begun to develop methods for running DS games on the Switch, which could possibly open the door to official support with both Nintendo and developers in the future. For now, you can enjoy all of your favorite DS titles by:

  • Downloading them from various digital stores
  • Purchasing physical copies of their game cartridges.