Cross-platform team-ups are typically unheard of in the gaming world. Video game companies are hugely proprietary and would never share projects if they can help it. The few that do exist belong to the same manufacturer: PC often crosses with Xbox, but only because Microsoft owns both brands. But an industry-defining crossover may finally be happening between two gaming giants, namely Nintendo and Microsoft’s Xbox division. Melbourne-based game journalist Nick Baker, also known by the moniker Shpeshal Ed, just posted a cryptic tweet pointing to a partnership between the two companies. He promised more details this coming fall.
Baker is a respected member of the game industry and has been podcasting and writing reviews for a good while. He’s also a trusted insider in all things gaming, given his status as co-founder of XboxEra, and has accurately predicted industry developments — specifically Final Fantasy VII Remake being a PlayStation Plus exclusive before it was announced — in the past. We’d tell you to take his word for it, but given the tweet is largely uncorroborated, best regard it as a (vaguely placed) rumor.
Baker’s followers, however, are quick to speculate on what he’s referring to. Most users assume a game crossover involving titles previously exclusive to either console is in the works. Anything from Master Chief and Samus Aran (Halo and Metroid), to Xbox characters making cameos on Super Smash Bros.. Or perhaps an Xbox port coming to the Switch or vice versa. A few foresee something more drastic, like Nintendo buying Microsoft, but that one is obviously unlikely.
Others hope (or fear?) Xbox’s Game Pass will finally be made available on the Nintendo Switch, making the handheld the de facto mobile device for many Xbox players. The xCloud could also be ported to the upcoming Switch Pro, allowing playing to stream via the cloud on the Switch, among other things. After all, the Switch Pro is ripe for an upgraded online service, something the current Switch hasn’t fully taken advantage of.
However, given the Xbox’s top-level specs and high graphical capacity, some gamers are inclined to dispute this possibility. Many Xbox games are simply too heavy to run on the Switch. If this theory does ring true, the resulting service will most likely be extremely laggy and won’t be pleasing customers any time soon. Some smartphones already run the xCloud, though it can be argued the specs are ultimately better on some mobile devices than on a Nintendo handheld. Either way, Nintendo and Microsoft are possibly sharing tech. Perhaps the PC mogul is helping Nintendo develop their more advanced Switch. Samsung is already working with Nintendo on improving the Switch’s OLED display, while the Xbox Game Pass was recently made available on Samsung devices.
Whatever it is, Baker knows game companies often have their consumers’ best interests at heart. Assuming the new feature (or game) isn’t a total hit-and-miss, the reveal is bound to improve the gaming experience for many Nintendo and Xbox players.