A new report claims that Microsoft is working with Nintendo on several progressively ambitious efforts to bring Xbox products and services to the Nintendo Switch platform. Those progressive steps would entail bringing the Microsoft-published Ori and the Blind Forest to the Nintendo Switch, followed by an Xbox app, and eventually a Game Pass streaming service powered by Microsoft’s xCloud technology.
According to Direct Feed Games, several sources with access to privileged information confirmed the report. The publication of Ori and the Blind Forest will continue to expand the relationship that’s grown from Microsoft releasing Minecraft on the Switch and will likely include more games in the future.
Following Ori‘s release, Microsoft will deliver an Xbox app for Nintendo Switch that allows for a Game Pass subscription service on the platform. The workings of this platform aren’t entirely clear, but it’s said that it will feature streaming technology for games using Microsoft’s xCloud technology. This would enable Nintendo Switch users to play games that require much more powerful hardware via online streaming, perhaps even including major Xbox first-party releases like Halo. There’s also a possibility that the Xbox app would allow for Xbox Live on the Nintendo Switch.
While it’s impossible to determine whether the Nintendo and Microsoft partnership rumor is true yet, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it’s at least possible. Both Nintendo and Microsoft are rumored to be releasing new hardware in 2019, both of which would benefit from a new Game Pass service built on streaming technology. Nintendo is said to be making a smaller Nintendo Switch device and Microsoft is said to be making a streaming-only Xbox console. Microsoft could announce its new console and service, followed shortly by Nintendo confirming Game Pass coming to Switch.
It’s also well rumored that Microsoft is interested in expanding its online services beyond the Xbox and PC. Exactly how it plans to do that has never been clear, but support on the Nintendo Switch would be a huge achievement. It would also imply Microsoft’s plans for game streaming, to become the Netflix for games, is farther along than many expect. The new Xbox console hardware has been speculated to be a test run to see whether Microsoft should carry it forward into its next-gen console releases.
If this rumor is true, fans should expect to hear news about it before the year is out, porentially at E3 2019. But there’s the potential for an even earlier announcement if Microsoft plans to get its Game Pass streaming service out this year. Keep in mind that an Ori and the Blind Forest announcement for Switch would be the first indication of this rumor’s accuracy.