Apparently, GameCube Controller Support On The Switch Was An Accident

A GameCube controller.

When the latest software update for the Switch rolled out last week, one of the surprise features was that players could now use GameCube controllers on Nintendo's latest piece of hardware. And according to a recent interview, even Nintendo was caught off guard.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently had a chat with the folks at Kotaku, covering everything from Breath of the Wild's upcoming expansion to the Virtual Console. During the chat, the interviewer brought up the 4.0.0 update that rolled out to the Switch last week and its unexpected additional features. Specifically, it turned out that you could plug in the GameCube controller adapter that was sold for the Wii U and the device works exactly as intended. According to Fils-Aime, that was something of a happy coincidence.

In our latest system software update, it enables third-party peripherals to work on Nintendo Switch. 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.

So as Reggie Fils-Aime explains it, Nintendo didn't even have their own peripherals in mind when working on the 4.0.0 update. Instead, they were working on making the console play nice with third-party peripherals, specifically other types of headsets and the like. Whatever magical button they pressed to make this relationship a smooth one apparently had unintended consequences. Someone decided to plug in the GameCube controller peripheral and, surprise, it now also works on the console.

You'll have to excuse me if I sound a little skeptical here. I don't know all that much about developing software for a game console, but I have a hard time believing that whatever work was done to make it so that third party mics can work on a console also happens to be exactly what was needed to make a controller peripheral for the Wii U work flawlessly. But, again, I'm admitting my ignorance here and maybe that's exactly what can happen.

If it wasn't for the fact that Nintendo seems to be gearing up to roll out the Switch's take on a Virtual Console (which the GameCube library has been rumored for a year to be a part of) and the fact that they would be insane not to release an updated version of Smash Bros. on the console, I'd be a little less likely to start forming these conspiracy theories.

But whether or not Nintendo was actually caught off guard by all of this isn't important. What's important is that the device works and, since Fils-Aime didn't offer a statement to the contrary, it seems like Nintendo is fine to just let it keep right on working.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.