Nintendo Explains Why the GameCube Controller Works on Switch

Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with virtual console.

The recent Nintendo Switch 4.00 update includes an unexpected feature that allows you to connect a GameCube controller to your Nintendo Switch.

To take advantage of this somewhat strange function, you’ll need a Wii U GameCube adapter and a GameCube controller. From there, you simply hook the adapter up to the Switch, connect the controller to the adapter, and you should be good to go. 

Nintendo made no reference to this feature leading up to the release of the patch nor did they mention it in the update notes. However, they have since issued a statement to Kotaku regarding how this happened and what it means. 

“In our latest system software update, it enables third-party peripherals to work on Nintendo Switch,” wrote Reggie Fils-Aime. “As a result, the peripheral for Wii U that allows it to attach GameCube controllers also works […] I think it’s fair to say […] that that peripheral working was as much a surprise to us as it was to consumers.”

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That actually makes sense given that the functionality of the GameCube controller is fairly limited at this time. Users are able to control simple Switch games with a GameCube controller – and can navigate the system’s menus via the retro device – but its clear that modern titles were not designed with this functionality in mind. 

Unfortunately, this does throw a bit of cold water on the most interesting fan theories surrounding the sudden functionality of the GameCube controller on Switch. Some, for instance, are speculating that this might mean the impending release of a new Smash Bros. game. That seems to be a bit optimistic. 

The most popular, and certainly most intriguing, old fan theory suggested that Nintendo may be gearing up for the long-rumored addition of GameCube games to their still dormant Switch Virtual Console service. There’s a lot of smoke around that particular fire, but buying into that theory does require you to believe that Nintendo is ready to unveil the Switch’s VC service sometime in the near future. It appears that may not be the case given the nature of Nintendo’s comments on this matter. 

For the time being, it’s just nice to know that Nintendo’s strangest controller is going to survive yet another generation of gaming. 

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