Microsoft wants to be the Netflix of gaming. They want all players around the world to be playing their games on their platform, regardless of whether or not said players purchased Xbox hardware. We’ve seen Microsoft make strides towards moving to this services dominated future via their recent initiatives, such as Game Pass and the upcoming xCloud. However, one would have assumed these initiatives would be available on Xbox hardware, PCs, Mac, smartphones, and tablets—but never on competing hardware.
But Microsoft and Nintendo are getting along a lot lately. And it seems we are about to see that come to a head soon. Direct-Feed Games reports (and this is a rumor being backed up by Game Informer as well) that Microsoft will be bringing Game Pass and xCloud to Nintendo Switch. This will allow the full catalog of Game Pass games playable on Nintendo Switch via xCloud streaming.
But that’s not it either—Microsoft and Moon Studios may also be preparing to launch Ori and the Will of the Wisps on the Nintendo Switch. Not via xCloud—as a natively developed game for the system.
Game Pass and xCloud on the Switch would be instantly beneficial to Nintendo and Microsoft alike to an insane degree. For Microsoft, it gets their service on an extremely popular piece of hardware, causes players in the Nintendo ecosystem paying for their services, and potentially allows them to reach customers in markets such as Asia and Japan, where they have traditionally had no foothold. Nintendo, on the other hand, gains the benefit of major third party games that otherwise would never be able to come to Switch owing to hardware considerations, suddenly available on their hardware, making it a far more valuable purchase for many.
This is an insane rumor—if this is true, it’s an unprecedented move for the gaming industry. It is only a rumor, too—it remains to be seen how much truth there is to it. But Microsoft and Nintendo may, with this move, be getting ready to change the face of the console gaming industry forever.