The Switch rumor mill went into overdrive a few weeks ago when reports first began to surface that suggested Microsoft and Nintendo are in talks to a slew of Xbox services and even games over to the Switch. According to the rumor, Microsoft’s recently-launched Xbox Game Pass service would be coming over, along with the upcoming Project xCloud game streaming service. This would allow Switch users to play Xbox One games on their Switch via streaming, but the rumor also suggested a few select Microsoft games would be natively ported over as well. If you were looking forward to such a thing happening, you might be disappointed with some new details that have now come to light.
In an interesting turn of events, both Phil Spencer (the Head of Xbox) and a Microsoft insider that’s given out correct info in the past have shared statements about this rumor. Let’s begin with the insider.
This insider is YouTuber ‘Brad Sams’. In a recent video that talks all about Microsoft’s upcoming plans for the next generation, Sams pretty much shot down the aforementioned rumor when he said that he’s heard from “multiple sources that it is not happening”. He then elaborated a little further by saying that this is “definitely not happening in the long term.” Sams went on to detail that Microsoft wants Project xCloud (and by extension Game Pass) on as many devices as possible like TVs, but as of right now, the Switch isn’t a part of these plans.
Bridging the gap?
As alluded to earlier, Head of Xbox himself Phil Spencer also chimed in on the matter during a recent interview with GeekWire. His words mildly align with that of Sams’ as he said: “We want to bring Game Pass to any device that somebody wants to play on.” Going by this statement, it does seem that Microsoft is willing to try and bring its services over to any platform where it sees demand, even commenting on the benefit of such a move: it would allow people to find and play games they may have otherwise never gotten a chance to play due to not owning the right platform.
One aspect of the rumor that confused some folks (myself included), was that having Microsoft’s service on any competing platforms would be complicated. Spencer actually also addressed this in the same interview, stating that having Xbox services across multiple platforms “increases the size of the business” due to more people being able to play and thus having more copies of games sold.
Taking all of this into consideration, Spencer seems to be providing at least a small amount hope of Xbox services coming to Switch and many other devices, but even if Spencer and his team personally want it, Nintendo would still need to be convinced, which is where Sams’ aforementioned statement returns to the forefront.
Each of these two companies would need to have very long, strenuous discussions over this matter. That said, it doesn’t seem as though those discussions have led to anything yet (assuming that there have been any at all).
Where does that leave this situation? Well, it’s basically still unresolved. On one hand, Spencer is hopeful, but he gave no concrete promises—or denials, for that matter. On the other hand, Sams has suggested that getting excited over the possibility of this happening right now is pointless. Until Microsoft or Nintendo themselves come out and say a definitive “yes” or “no”, then there might be some truth to Sams’ report. But until then, it might be best to just accept that Xbox and Switch will continue on their seperate paths for the time being.
That said, the jury is still out on whether or not Xbox Live really will be incorporated into more Switch titles as official reports have strongly indicated.