Microsoft exec ‘declines to comment’ on status of Game Pass Switch

Microsoft has declined to comment on the status of talks with Nintendo to potentially bring its Xbox Game Pass service to Nintendo Switch.

Xbox has dabbled in collaborating with Nintendo over the past few years. It published the first Ori game for Nintendo’s platform in September 2019, followed by its sequel last year, as well as another former Xbox One exclusive, Cuphead.

Xbox also collaborated with Nintendo to bring Banjo-Kazooie and Minecraft characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

However, in an interview with Kotaku published last November, head of Xbox Phil Spencer claimed that the prospect of bringing more Xbox games to Switch “doesn’t feel sustainable” unless it was able to bring the full Xbox ecosystem, including Game Pass, to the platform.

The exec claimed that he had “a very good relationship with Nintendo” and cited regular conversations with Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa and Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser.

Asked this week for an update on the status of talks with Nintendo to get Game Pass on the Switch, Xbox’s VP of creator experiences Sarah Bond told the Axios Gaming newsletter: “I can’t comment on any specifics around that relationship as it relates to Game Pass.”

Ahead of E3 2021, Microsoft held a private briefing for media and analysts this week in which it emphasised its strategy of bringing Xbox to as many devices as possible.

The corporation even confirmed plans to bring Xbox cloud gaming to internet-connected TVs in a move that will let players access services like Game Pass with no extra hardware required, except a controller.

Microsoft is currently working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected TVs, it said, in addition to building its own streaming devices to bring cloud gaming to any TV or monitor without the need for a console.

“Cloud is key to our hardware and Game Pass roadmaps, but no one should think we’re slowing down on our core console engineering. In fact, we’re accelerating it,” Xbox’s experiences and platforms boss Liz Hamren said during a video presentation.

“We’re already hard at work on new hardware and platforms, some of which won’t come to light for years. But even as we build for the future, we’re focused on extending the Xbox experience to more devices today so we can reach more people. And many of those devices won’t be built by us.”

During the same presentation, Hamren said Microsoft is exploring introducing new Xbox Game Pass subscription plans to bring the service to a wider audience.

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