Latest Nintendo Switch update adds support for GameCube controllers

GameCube controller support in Nintendo Switch update was a happy accident

Shortly after the launch of the Nintendo Switch, players hoped for a simple way to transfer user data and save data between consoles. Now, with the newly released 4.0 update, the Switch finally gives users that ability, along with a few extra features.

Before the update, if a Nintendo Switch severely malfunctioned, it had to be sent to Nintendo directly to transfer the user account data and save files. With the 4.0 system update, an option for the system transfer appears in the System Settings menu. Both systems must be updated and have an internet connection. The data can be transferred as long as there aren’t more than seven users on the receiving Switch.

For most people, that feature isn’t a big deal. The biggest new feature is the ability to capture video by holding down the Capture Button during gameplay. When pressed, up to 30 previous seconds will be saved to the Album. Inside the Album, clips can be trimmed and posted directly to Facebook or Twitter. At this time, the feature is limited to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2. It is likely that more games will be added in the future.

According to two anonymous sources speaking to Kotaku, the 30-second limit will stay in place until certain conditions have been met. Once all first-party and larger third-party software supports video capture, and the feature has been proved functionally stable, the plan is to add options for larger recordings. By allocating a larger amount of space for a rolling recording, users could save clips of one-, three-, or five-minute lengths. These plans have not been confirmed directly by Nintendo.

Aside from transferring data and capturing video, there are still more notable additions. Certain games can now be prepurchased on the Nintendo eShop. This allows games to preload onto the Nintendo Switch for quicker access when the game is released. For local multiplayer, a new option allows matching software to update to the most recent version without using the internet.

Additionally, the update adds a few more features not mentioned in Nintendo’s notes. The first is the ability to use a wireless USB headset. Most headsets that use a proprietary dongle appear to be compatible, including the PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset — this headset also happens to work on Xbox One, though it needs to be used as a wired headset in that case. The system is also now capable of using wired GameCube controllers through the Wii U’s USB adapter, which was released for Super Smash Bros. last generation. The process is reportedly still finicky, but it should allow for players to enjoy simple multiplayer games without purchasing additional controllers.

The feature was apparently added by accident, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. Speaking to Kotaku, Fils-Aime explained that the recent update enabled third-party peripherals to be used and the GameCube support was something of a happy accident — fans shouldn’t get too excited about a new Smash Bros. game just yet.

Smaller aesthetic choices have also been made. Twelve new player icons have been added based on Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild. The news feed has also been given a new look.

If the Nintendo Switch hasn’t updated automatically, the option can be found in the System Settings menu.

Update: Added news of support for GameCube controllers.