Recent rumors from around the industry have pointed at a potential deeper Xbox Nintendo Switch partnership. That would actually be great, quite beneficial to perhaps both parties. These discussions have focused around Xbox Game Pass and actual exclusives heading over to the Nintendo platform. This makes perfect sense as the Pass is meant to be like the Netflix of gaming and having it on multiple platforms increases its value to consumers and publishers/developers.
With the exclusives possibly heading there, I wouldn't exactly call the Switch a direct competitor. It's in the console space, but it exists somewhat by itself. Having some exclusives published by Microsoft on that platform would only open those franchises to new audiences, but also increase their profits. On top of that, the games are already available on PC so it really doesn’t matter if another platform that doesn't direct compete with them has access to the titles.
Ori and the Blind Forest, or say Super Lucky's Tale would probably work really well over there. They're already Xbox Play Anywhere, it would be great if that purchase also included Nintendo Switch. Basically a Xbox, Windows 10 PC and Nintendo Switch purchase in one. This dealing could lead to some fun cross-overs as well which would be neat.
We've already seen close cooperation with the release of Minecraft on the platform, among other cross-play options. The first aspect of this is that it contains Xbox Achievements, which are also apparently being made available to developers for other titles on Switch. That's sweet as I enjoy Gamerscore, but it shows the possibility of Xbox Live support on another platform. I personally have thought it would be great if Nintendo just used Xbox Live instead of their own service, would make life so much easier.
This is mostly just a starting point for Xbox's games as services platform. It's not necessarily about tying you to the Xbox console, but into the Xbox ecosystem. They don't care where you're playing the games, just that you're buying them and staying with them over time. That increases engagement numbers which is what Microsoft loves in the modern times.
This shift has allowed the group to buy a ton of development studios, and just really expand the Xbox brand. Having an extra massive more casual audience playing your games is a great benefit in terms of exposure and monetary improvements. It would also be great in having an expanded user base to support titles, using the marvelous cross-play options. I don't think you'll ever see a Nintendo published game on a Xbox platform though.
That element covers the value of a partnership, it would also be great for the consumer. Aside from cross-play support, it's great to have a service that adds benefits in multiple areas. It would be fantastic to take some Xbox titles on the go, which you can't right now. It could also be a fantastic place to further the Project xCloud service. Streaming high class titles to the Switch, games that the hardware wouldn't be able to typically handle.
This partnership in general would bring new content to those on the Nintendo platform, expand the scope for Microsoft's various projects and be a gain for the consumer. They really could work hand in hand, having a powerful Xbox at home and then the comfort of the Switch when you're out and about. I think it would be interesting to see and hopefully at E3 2019 that's the big surprise reveal. You can check out an interview I conducted with Nintendo at E3 about cross-play with Xbox below or view the Xbox hub for additional coverage on the platform.
Read our Nintendo E3 Interview About Xbox Cooperation
View our Xbox Hub