Nintendo and Microsoft have teamed up on a number of occasions to achieve the impossible. Last year, for example, Rare's iconic mascot Banjo-Kazooie debuted in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Along with this, was the release of games like the run 'n gun platformer Cuphead and the beautifully crafted Ori And The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition.
Since then, there's been on-going speculation – and even rumours – about what other Microsoft projects could possibly be ported across to Nintendo's hybrid device. Speaking on a podcast with IGN recently, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer explained how it was time for the company to "set a better expectation" with its fans.
Although he talks to Nintendo of America's president Doug Bowser on a regular basis and has "a ton of respect" for the company, Spencer wants to return the focus to team Xbox – even if he has had "some blow-back" from certain people and groups. He's also not really a fan of the whole circus (rumours and all) about certain Xbox titles possibly being released on the Switch. Here's exactly what he had to say, courtesy of GoNintendo:
The relationship with Nintendo is great. Doug Bowser and I, we talk often. Furakawa-san, the CEO of Nintendo, and I know each other well and we have conversations.
I will say that I think the individual IP by IP to different platforms, I can see [it] can kind of get confusing to customers over time. We've been learning, some of our development partners have really wanted to go do this, and we want to support the desires of our creative talent. Some of this have been partner lead.
I think more and more about what does a full Xbox experience mean on different platforms. Right now, it seems like when any game comes out, there's that, "is this one going here, is this one going there." I'd rather be able to set more of an Xbox-level expectation for our fans on where things are going to go. I thought we did that with our first party when we talked about games shipping on Xbox and PC, and I got some blow-back from certain people in certain groups on that, but at least we set an expectation on that. I'd rather see us get to that point on the different pieces of hardware we're on, so I guess I'll kind of leave it there.
I definitely have a ton of respect for the role that Nintendo plays, and I love having great games on their platform. I don't really love this idea that for every one of our games, there becomes this little rumor on it "is it going to end up on the Switch or not." I feel we should set a better expectation with our fans than that.
If Phil's comments are anything to go by – and they probably should be taken quite seriously considering he runs the Xbox division – it sounds as if Microsoft might be stepping back from its multi-platform release (on specific devices) to instead focus on its next-generation of hardware arriving this holiday season, and bolster it with as many exclusives as possible.
Would you like to see more Xbox titles released on the Switch? Can you see where Phil is coming from? Share your thoughts below.