If you’d told any child of the 90s that one day Sega would go the third party and Sonic The Hedgehog would end up making cameos in Mario games they would’ve laughed you off the playground. But things can change very quickly in the business world and for months now there’s been whispers that Microsoft is trying to get Nintendo to let gamers access Xbox Game Pass from the Switch. The Switch doesn’t have enough power to run Xbox One games but in conjunction with the Project xCloud streaming service Microsoft has already made it clear that it wants Xbox games on every digital device on the planet – and that includes rival consoles.
In recent days those whispered rumors have become louder and louder, especially after it became clear that Microsoft also wants to enable Xbox Live access on Nintendo Switch. YouTube channel Direct-Feed Games was one of the first to suggest that negotiations were ongoing, while insider Liam Robertson has suggested that Microsoft and Nintendo are ‘working on big things together’. While Minecraft is already on the Switch, as it is on all formats, many were surprised when Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was also recently announced for Nintendo’s console – even though Microsoft bought developer Ninja Theory last summer.
It’s claimed that other games that can run natively on the Switch will also be making their way to the console, including acclaimed Metroidvania title Ori And The Blind Forest – and potentially it’s a forthcoming sequel. Gamer Informer, which first suggested that Nintendo was looking to revive a ‘dead and buried’ franchise – still assumed by many to be Microsoft’s Scalebound – has said its own sources have corroborated some of these details and that they expect Microsoft and Nintendo to make a joint announcement this year.
The obvious place to do that is at E3 in June, which thanks to Sony’s non-attendance this year the two companies will have to their selves. Microsoft and Nintendo have always got on well, considering they are technically rivals, with Microsoft allowing Rare to publish games on the Game Boy Advance and almost authorizing a version of Halo for the Nintendo DS. There are also persistent rumors that Minecraft characters, including possibly a skin for Master Chief, will be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – something that’s also rumored to be announced at E3. For their part Nintendo has already experimented with streaming on the Switch, with streaming versions of Resident Evil 7 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – games which would not ordinarily be able to run on the Switch – already available in Japan.
MORE: GAMING Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Persona stage leaked ahead of Joker’s arrival Scooby Doo’s Shaggy joins Jump Force with new character mod Nintendo Switch was best-selling console in the US during January None of this guarantees a collaboration between Microsoft and Nintendo will definitely go ahead, but judging purely by Microsoft’s own comments it seems certain that discussions must have already occurred. Getting Nintendo on the side makes perfect business sense as Microsoft has already stated its intention to become the Netflix of gaming and yet is likely to face stern competition from Amazon, Google, and Apple – all of whom are rumored to have their own game streaming services in development. Whether Nintendo would also consider teaming up with Sony, if they have their own equivalent service, is unknown but at the moment there are no rumors of anything similar.