The Nintendo Switch won't be getting Xbox Game Pass anytime soon. Previously it was reported that Microsoft would be bringing the Xbox Game Pass and select Xbox One games to the Nintendo Switch. However according to industry insider Brad Sams, this won't be happening. Sams has somewhat of a reputation regarding Microsoft. He leaked the official name of the Xbox One S and stated that the Xbox One X would be out in 2017. He was also partially correct in revealing what the next Halo game would be called. Sams cites multiple sources, claiming that Xbox Game Pass on the Nintendo Switch won't be happening anytime soon.
This is at odds with past reports that stated we'd see Xbox Game Pass and select Xbox One games on the Nintendo Switch. It is possible that Microsoft's dealings with Nintendo may have fell through. Earlier several outlets claimed that Microsoft's streaming initiative, Project xCloud could also make it to the Nintendo Switch as well and may power Game Pass for the Switch. This would make sense when you consider that Microsoft has a working relationship with Nintendo, publishing Minecraft on its consoles. Plus studios owned by the company such as Ninja Theory and Obsidian are still bringing their games to other platforms too.
The source of this report was YouTube channel Direct Feed Games, which tends to have a decent track record regarding Microsoft and Nintendo developments. It was further bolstered by Game Informer stating that Xbox Game Pass could be announced for Nintendo Switch this year.
"In talking with our own sources, it has been suggested that the announcement of Game Pass on Switch could come as soon as this year," read a post from Game Informer's Imran Khan.
If true it's an interesting approach from Microsoft, possibly indicative that it isn't able to scale a user base for Game Pass on the Xbox One and Windows 10 as fast as it would like. Bringing it to the Nintendo Switch gives Microsoft a wider, growing audience to target in addition to valuable data that could allow it to shape better services.
However, it this does happen, bringing Xbox Game Pass to the Switch also dilutes any reason to own an Xbox One or whatever else Microsoft has planned as its successor. Coupled with a poor run of Xbox One exclusives, and it makes us wonder if this could be the start of Microsoft pivoting from a console and games manufacturer to a developer-distributor role. Which would make sense when you consider the company's latest admission of its failings in the console space.
"That is not where you make money," Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in a recent interview of gaming consoles. "The business inside of games is really selling games, and selling access to games and content in means like that is the fundamental business. So if you open it up, the more often people can play, the more they're enjoying the art form. It increases the size of the business."
Furthermore, Spencer reiterated the company's cross-platform plans to bring Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud to every device.
"We want to bring Game Pass to any device that somebody wants to play on," Spencer said. "Not just because it's our business, but really because the business model allows for people to consume and find games that they wouldn't have played in any other space."