Microsoft is rumored to be working with Nintendo to bring Xbox Game Pass and Project Xcloud to the Switch.
We don’t have a whole lot of corroborating evidence, so take this all with a hefty grain of salt. That said, this partnership makes a whole lot of sense for both Microsoft and Nintendo, and gamers from both sides of the corporate divide will stand to benefit from this match.
According to Direct-Feed Games, Microsoft and Nintendo much be teaming up to bring Xbox Game Pass to the Nintendo Switch.
Mr. Feed doesn’t provide much in terms of sources other than to say they are multiple people within Microsoft saying they want to publish more software on the Switch. He also assures us these rumors are true and that we’ll see them bear fruit later this year.
For those who aren’t familiar with Xbox Game Pass, it’s essentially a subscription service that gives you access to Microsoft’s catalog of games, both current and past. It’s billed as a sort of “Netflix for video games”, and is similar to PlayStation Now or EA Access subscription services.
New games such as Forza Horizon 4 might have a difficult time playing on the Switch’s less powerful hardware, but Game Pass also includes a bunch of older Xbox and Xbox 360 games that the Switch should have zero difficulties playing.
In addition to Game Pass, which would appear on the Switch as an app on the Nintendo eShop, Microsoft is also going to give up a few Xbox exclusive indie games, starting with Ori and the Blind Forest. Ori is a critically acclaimed and gorgeous indie game that fits in well with Nintendo’s image, so we can totally see it doing well on the Switch.
That’s not all: Microsoft is also looking to try their Project Xcloud streaming software on the Switch. Much like Google’s pilot project with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Xcloud lets you play a game without downloading anything but the app. Microsoft’s servers do the hard processing while the Switch would just be used to display the game and accept inputs from the player.
It’s a match made in heaven: Nintendo gets more games and for their still somewhat limited Switch library, and Microsoft gets more subscribers and a wider user base. It does seem to indicate the Microsoft is moving away from mobile hardware by going into this partnership, but everyone still winds up a winner so who can complain?
We’ll learn if this rumor is true in the coming months. Till then, stay tuned.