In an odd turn of events, considering that Microsoft is yet to pass its acquisition of Activision Blizzard through consumer regulators and Nintendo’s hardware has recently struggled to run a Pokémon game, the tech giant has inked a deal with Nintendo to start bringing Call of Duty games to its consoles, starting with the Nintendo Switch.
The news came directly from the head of Microsoft’s Gaming Division, Phil Spencer, who took to Twitter to share the news.
It remains unclear whether Microsoft intends to port over existing Call of Duty titles such as last month’s Modern Warfare II to the Switch. However, the tech giant confirmed it intends to launch future entries in the franchise on the hardware alongside all of the other usual platforms – Xbox Series, PlayStation 5, and PC.
When pressed about how exactly a Call of Duty title is expected to run on Nintendo’s aging hardware, given the infamously huge file sizes of the game as well as the fact that it’s basically mandatory for the shooter to run at a minimum of 60 frames per second, Spencer cited, The Washington Post, Microsoft’s efforts with porting other properties to the platform, such as Minecraft.
Minecraft. MINECRAFT. The graphical juggernaut of a game that is unplayable without an RTX 4080 and definitely couldn’t operate on just a potato, Minecraft. Incredible
“Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games. But from how you get games onto Nintendo, how you run a development team that is targeting multiple platforms, that’s experience we have.”
The publisher could go for the streaming route on Switch as other publishers like Ubisoft have with Assassin’s Creed, but considering the meat and potatoes of Call of Duty games lie in their multiplayer, somehow we have our doubts about it being an effective solution. Perhaps these are early signals that a Switch Pro is inbound.
In any case, Sony likely won’t be thrilled by this news, with the PlayStation manufacturer actively petitioning regulatory bodies to block Microsoft’s Activision acquisition, claiming that the opposition will simply control way too much of gaming’s market share should the deal go through.