GameCube to Nintendo Switch 2? (And 6 Other Console Release Theories)

October 13, 2023 • Shannon Flynn


Nintendo rumors are flying everywhere on the internet. The most recent direct announcing the remaster of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door has many theorizing this is the Switch’s last hurrah in preparation for announcing its follow-up console in 2024. Will games from the beloved GameCube be on Nintendo Switch 2? Who knows.

The success of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom extended the Switch’s life for another year, giving Nintendo time to wrap up the details on its next big reveal. What do fans hope that Nintendo Direct will look like, even though there are little concrete details on the Nintendo Switch 2?

1. GameCube to Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo made it worth it to purchase their relatively inexpensive online membership because of their backlog of nostalgic titles on old consoles. Currently, gamers have access to digital ports from these consoles:

  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • Super Nintendo (SNES)
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Nintendo 64
  • SEGA Genesis

It left many to question — where is the GameCube rep? Many think this will be a “release title” for the Nintendo Switch 2, especially since popular GameCube ports, like Super Mario Sunshine and Pikmin 1 and 2, already made their way onto the Switch without making it part of the membership. 

Even though the commercial failure of Wii U hosted the remasters of the fan favorites The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker alongside Twilight Princess, many wanted these moved to Switch. Will they hit the Switch 2?

2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom DX

Tears of the Kingdom was a monumental release for Nintendo, a daring re-entry into the memorable world of Breath of the Wild. Nintendo recently confirmed there would be no DLC for this game— a major upset and shock to avid fans. The company stated they would instead focus on developing the next brand-new Zelda title. Despite this, some people think they will put Tears on the Switch 2 with additional content or a rework to play better on updated hardware. Even diehard fans can admit it pushed the Switch to its limits.

Others dismiss this theory entirely. The last 2D Legend of Zelda title was Link’s Awakening in 2019 — this was just a remaster. The previous original 2D title before that was Tri Force Heroes in 2015 for the 3DS. With over eight years separating Nintendo from 2D Zeldas, perhaps that will be a draw to the Switch 2.

3. Baldur’s Gate 3 Port

Isn’t Baldur’s Gate 3 already out? Yes, but that does not mean it won’t be a huge drawing point to the Switch 2 if Nintendo ports it over. Despite being out for years, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a “release” title for the original Switch. 

Why did they do that — to demonstrate the hardware capabilities of the Switch. Nintendo could pull a similar strategy with Baldur’s Gate 3, a very hardware-intensive game with such a devoted fanbase that people would undoubtedly repurchase it.

4. Something Unexpected With Mario

The September 2023 Nintendo Direct was surprising in how many new Mario titles were still slated to be released before the Switch 2. Princess Peach is getting her own game. The Mario vs. Donkey Kong game looks like a classic throwback. And Super Mario Wonder is an innovation of 2D Mario games. Even Wario is getting a new game. 

What could they do for the Switch 2 release? Would it even be a Nintendo console release without its most notable IP? Here are a few theories to keep you excited:

  • Super Mario Odyssey 2
  • Super Mario Galaxy 3
  • Mario Kart 9
  • The start of a new Mario series

5. Revitalizing Old IPs

Nintendo has tons of intellectual properties that often get overshadowed by Mario and Zelda. It’s time to bring some fan favorites back into the limelight with wholly original games — no remakes or remasters, please. Here are some potential candidates and the last time a mainline title was released for it — not including spin-offs or re-releases:

  • Chibi-Robo in 2015
  • EarthBound/Mother in 2006
  • Kid Icarus in 2012
  • Star Fox in 2017
  • Tomodachi in 2014
  • Nintendogs in 2011

Thankfully, Metroid Prime is having a comeback, so that’s one off the list.

6. Introducing a New IP

Similarly, it might be time for Nintendo to branch out into unknown territories. Astral Chain and ARMS are some of Nintendo’s newest IPs, and they may see a sequel on the Switch 2. However, they may announce something completely different they want to make into a franchise. Will it be multiplayer-focused like Splatoon, or even more platform-heavy like a Metroidvania game?

7. Community-Focused Interactivity

Everyone loved creating Miis for the Nintendo Wii, sharing their templates worldwide. Has that charm faded into obscurity, or is that atmosphere something Nintendo could bring back? The Switch doesn’t have themed Channels like the Wii did, but perhaps the interface for the Switch 2 will be more than a mere game library.

Remember the Everybody Votes channel, where you could see data for silly questions worldwide? Or, the Today and Tomorrow channel, where you could get fortunes? These are harmless and fun distractions not required on the Switch 2, but Nintendo can think of outside-of-the-box ways to make the Switch 2 system feel more playful.

What We Don’t Think We Will See on Nintendo Switch 2

Animal Crossing: New Horizons broke the internet in 2020, as people ate the game up during the thick of quarantining in the COVID-19 pandemic. There isn’t any reason to think Nintendo will bust out another Animal Crossing title so soon, especially since it was released eight years after the previous main title release, Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

We also don’t think they will deviate from the “switch” dynamic. The new console should still be an at-home and portable console — unless fans believe a new 3DS will take the world by storm, but it is super unlikely.

Additionally, fans want backwards compatibility. We don’t think this will happen unless the Switch 2 allows Switch games alone. With their online membership model, it’s unlikely the Switch 2 would accept games from the Wii U or Wii.

Fan Rumors for Nintendo Switch 2

Get excited because next year might be Nintendo’s best — only time will tell. Do you think GameCube and Nintendo Switch 2 will become friends? New Kid Icarus? Alongside prominent hardware and visual updates, what do you think Nintendo will do with their upcoming console and release titles?