Until now, Nintendo games have been limited to the norm. Both digital versions and of course physical versions of games are available for the platform. However Nintendo have now announced the possibility of playing Hitman 3 and Control on the Nintendo Switch. Previously these were too much of a strain on the hardware, but thanks to streaming-services they will now be playable.
What has this to do with Microsoft?
If we look back to 2019 there was media coverage of a Microsoft and Nintendo partnership. This partnership would be to introduce an Azure agreement between the two firms. The agreement would open up streaming capabilities for the Nintendo Switch. It could also boost the architecture for their online services as a whole.
The news made sense due to a lot of publications on how Microsoft has started working with Nintendo on several projects. There was rumour about Project xCloud being brought to the Nintendo Switch back in May 2019.
This particular rumour has also been mentioned just this week by Phil Spencer – the Head of Xbox.
“We have a very good relationship with Nintendo, and I think we see our work very synergistically, in terms of trying to grow the market. And it just makes it easy. Every conversation we have with them has really been easy.”Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
He believes that there is a place for Xbox branding on the Nintendo Switch and that could include Game Pass.
“In order to really support it, I would want a full Xbox ecosystem somewhere. And that probably means things like Live and Game Pass and stuff.”Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
Minecraft vs Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
We also had news very recently regarding Steve. Yes Steve from Minecraft. The character from Majong Studios, a subsidary of Microsoft is now available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch.
It is a move that not only made fans happy but it also shows the strength of the relationship between the two giants.
Back to streaming
The Nintendo Switch has had exclusive streaming capabilities in Japan with Resident Evil VII and Assassin’s Creed. With the UK and other parts of the world now obtaining Control and Hitman 3 it would appear as though these are tests to test the strength of the Azure connections.
It does however look promising. It could mean that we get further content and possibly an interesting development in regards to Microsoft. Microsoft has always struggled in the Japanese market – this is not news. However, with the Xbox Series X it looks like they have a slightly better foothold. Combined with a good relationship with Nintendo, and possibly further character loans or cross-console services it could mean that Microsoft start to step up against Sony.