Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game director Masahiro Sakurai makes "Xbox" trend on Twitter after talking about Nintendo's rival in a Nintendo Direct video. Sakurai was part of the Nintendo Direct to announce that Banjo-Kazooie is now available as a playable character in the Switch exclusive fighting game.
Banjo-Kazooie developer Rare used to be partially owned by Nintendo, which also provided huge financial backing for many of its games and because of this, they were available or exclusive to Nintendo platforms. However this changed when Microsoft purchased Rare and its properties in 2002 in a deal that also made Microsoft the owner of Banjo-Kazooie. For Banjo-Kazooie to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Microsoft had to provide its authorization.
Sakurai said that he is "incredibly grateful" for this that he told viewers in a video that aired after the Nintendo Direct to play Banjo-Kazooie on Xbox consoles. "If you are going to play Banjo-Kazooie, you can play it on Xbox. I'm saying this even though this is a Nintendo broadcast. Please, by all means, play it on Xbox!" said the game developer.
たった一人の男の発言でトレンド1位になるXbox(※ちなみに任天堂の番組) pic.twitter.com/rEOKSQmzNz— (･ω･o[Tecno坊]o (@__tecnoboy__) September 4, 2019
While it's unclear whether Sakurai's suggestion lead to a flood of downloads of Banjo-Kazooie on Xbox consoles, it was enough to make the word Xbox trend on Twitter in Japan. The brand name held the number one trending position on Twitter for a short time, as more than 80,000 people posted messages about Xbox. They may have been surprised by what Sakurai said, or they may have been spreading the word, telling everyone to do as the game director said.
Microsoft will be glad to get positive publicity in Japan, a region where it hasn't had much success. At launch, the Xbox One sold just over 25,000 units in three days, which was hundreds of thousands of units fewer than the PS4 and the Nintendo Wii U. A lack of a strong library of JRPGs and other games enjoyed by the market have held it back, but could this be the key to making the Xbox brand popular in the region?
The Xbox and Switch companies will likely work together more soon. The two companies teamed up to release a Minecraft trailer that took a shot at Sony and that company's decision not to take part in cross-platform play deals. Microsoft has also brought Xbox Live to Switch through Minecraft.