In an exciting development for gaming enthusiasts, Microsoft and Activision announced a 10-year deal in December to bring the popular Call of Duty series to Nintendo Switch consoles. Despite skepticism from the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the companies remain confident that the Switch can provide an enjoyable gaming experience on par with Xbox and PlayStation versions.
The CMA’s 418-page report on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision included an analysis of the technical capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. While the report acknowledged differences between the Switch and its competitors, it also served as an opportunity to emphasise the unique features of Nintendo’s console, such as its portability and innovative gameplay mechanics.
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Citing anonymous third-party publishers and a Microsoft internal document, the CMA’s report highlighted the diverse technical strategies employed by Nintendo compared to its rivals. The Switch has already demonstrated its potential by running graphically demanding titles like Doom Eternal, proving that it can cater to a wide variety of gaming experiences, including those found in blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty.
Although the CMA suggested that the Switch could host a cloud-streamed version of Call of Duty, as it has done for franchises like Resident Evil, the regulator recognized that this method might not fully match locally run versions on other consoles due to cloud gaming limitations. Nevertheless, the prospect of expanding the Call of Duty series to the Nintendo Switch platform offers exciting possibilities for fans and demonstrates the ongoing innovation in the gaming industry.
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The CMA’s concerns regarding the viability of a Call of Duty game on the Switch are not a recent development. In their February preliminary findings report, the regulator specifically mentioned the “technical limitations” of the Switch, including its limited graphics and storage capabilities, as well as evidence suggesting that large shooter games might underperform on Nintendo’s console due to technical differences.
However, Microsoft remained undeterred in their February response to the CMA’s preliminary findings. The company expressed confidence that premium Call of Duty titles could be effectively optimized for the Nintendo Switch, citing successful adaptations of popular games such as Apex Legends, Doom Eternal, Fortnite, and Crysis 3 as examples of standard techniques that could be employed to bring the iconic shooter series to the Switch platform.