Microsoft has signed an agreement for Call of Duty on Nintendo platforms to convince regulators. This will ensure that Call of Duty games will be available on Nintendo consoles for the next decade.
However, the CMA might not be convinced by this move from Microsoft. Following the announcement of this commitment, the CMA published provisional findings report highlighting essential aspects of the Activision merger.
As spotted by Exputer, the regulator also highlighted concerns about Call of Duty’s compatibility with the limited hardware capabilities of the Nintendo Switch.
The report noted that bringing high-fidelity games to Nintendo’s aging console needs significant compromises for a smooth experience, acknowledging the technical limitations of the portable console.
This can range from visual cutbacks seen across numerous Nintendo Switch ports, lower frame rates, and even cloud versions in some instances. Microsoft is promising an uncompromised Call of Duty experience for Nintendo moving forward, but this might not be possible with the current hardware.
However, the CMA does not consider that Nintendo is due for new hardware in the coming years. Console lifecycles are typically limited to 6-7 years, and the Nintendo Switch will be over six years old in a few days.
With handhelds like the Steam Deck quickly outpacing the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo will likely attempt to release the next console in the coming years, making porting these ambitious titles much easier for the developers involved.
It is not unreasonable to assume that work on the successor to Nintendo’s hybrid console is already well underway. As such, Microsoft may not have to sacrifice scope and visuals for Call of Duty.
Nintendo’s platform has proven challenging, but games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Call of Duty: Ghosts have been ported to Nintendo consoles like the Wii U.
While the CMA’s concerns are valid, Microsoft likely does not expect to support the Nintendo Switch for the coming decade. Nonetheless, the gaming giant must fulfill the legally binding agreement if the acquisition succeeds, despite the potential challenges for Call of Duty and Xbox.
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