Topic: What year did the Wii’s stop supporting backwards compatability?

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They said newer Wii models don’t support it. My Wii is a mid 2009 model. But I just want to know. What year was when they stopped supporting backwards compatibility? My guess is 2010 - 2011.

Please and thank you.



As far as I know, only the Wii Mini ditched retro-compatibility. All regular models can read GC discs, otherwise they would have removed the memory card slots and GC controller ports.

Edit: the Family Edition doesn't either

source wrote:

There is an "updated" Wii that goes by "Wii Family Edition" on the retail box. It is identical in many ways to the old style Wii, down to the form factor. However, it does not support GameCube discs or controllers.

The best way to tell them apart is the model number - the Family Edition is model number RVL-101, and the "classic" Wii is model number RVL-001. This number is printed on a label on the bottom of the unit when it is in the vertical orientation. If it's lying horizontally, this label is on the right side of the unit when looking at the front.

You can confirm this information on Nintendo's support website. Click to view the Wii manuals, and you'll see two sets, one for the RVL-001, and one for the RVL-101. The 001 manual mentions the GameCube ports, while the 101 does not.

In addition to the model number change, there are a couple of other telltale signs:

  • The plastic panel covering the GameCube ports on the Family Edition is screwed down, where on the older model it flipped open. Underneath, the holes are present for the controller ports, but the ports themselves are empty.
  • The serial numbers on the "classic" Wii tend to start with L, and the Family Edition serial numbers appear to start with K. However, since serial numbers are at the discretion of the manufacturer, I'd hesitate to act on that information alone.
  • The Family Edition Wii doesn't ship with the vertical stand, although since the case design is identical to the previous design it can be used horizontally or vertically.
  • The Family Editon's Wii logo is parallel to the disc drive slot, (making it correctly oriented when the unit is horizontal) whereas it was perpendicular to the drive slot on the original Wii.


Didn't even know this was a thing, to be honest.

Edited on by MarcelRguez


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The vertical Wii is GC compatible, while the horizontal Wii doesn´t have backward compatibility. Just see the logo in the front to see if is an horizontal or vertical Wii (because not always is posible to check the controller ports in the console).

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I'd say it was 2011. I finally bought a Wii (it was black and came with NSMB and a Mario Orchestra Soundtrack) that year to play Skyward Sword, which came out in late 2011. It was not backwards compatible with the Gamecube, much to my disappointment at the time.



There are definitely some regular looking Wiis that don't have the backwards compatibility. So it's not limited to the mini model.

Thankfully the Wii I got after my original stopped working happened to be one of the good models.


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The Nintendo Wii is still relatively young and many mainstream gaming sites were in existence and have archives that go back long enough to cover this period.

'Wii redesign launching' for instance brought up lots of hits with news articles from the time that it happened. Here's one such example.

Or articles from our own NintendoLife. Here's the one that broke the news.

And the forum thread dedicated to the topic.

Edited on by Atariboy


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