Microsoft and Nintendo agree to bring Call of Duty to Switch consoles cover image

Microsoft and Nintendo agree to bring Call of Duty to Switch consoles

Call of Duty is coming to Nintendo Switch!

Microsoft and Nintendo have entered a 10-year deal to bring the full console release of Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch consoles. The new deal will ensure that Switch consoles will get Call of Duty releases on the same day as other platforms.

Previously, the only versions of Call of Duty that were made for Nintendo devices were stripped down ports for DS handheld devices.

Microsoft President Brad Smith confirmed the deal on Twitter. He confirmed that bringing Call of Duty to Switch is the start of a larger plan.

"We’ve now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers," Smith said. "This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms."

Not a stripped back port

An important aspect of the deal is the fact that Switch consoles will have full content and feature parity with mainline consoles and PC.

Old Nintendo Call of Duty titles look prehistoric by 2023 standards of gaming. They are bare-bones adaptations of iconic games in the franchise. That will change with this new deal.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare  on the Nintendo DS. Photo via Amazon.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the Nintendo DS. Photo via Amazon.

Still, some speculated that Nintendo Switch consoles lack the necessary computing power to be able to run huge Call of Duty titles. It's expected that the new deal will make full use of cloud gaming in order to make it possible.

Other FPS titles have succeeded on the platform. Bethesda managed to get Wolfenstein and Doom Eternal to run well on Switch consoles.

Running those games does come with limitations. Resolutions are capped and framerates are poor compared to console and PC releases.

With Call of Duty's increased push towards casual audiences, a move to Switch was almost inevitable. Joe Cecot, co-design director at Infinity Ward will be smiling at the concept of bringing in more casual players to fill out the "Sentinel" role in Call of Duty.

Timing of the deal

This deal comes at a crucial time for Microsoft. They are trying to get their acquisition of Activision-Blizzard over the line with regulators. Sony remains the biggest opposition to the deal. PlayStation's parent company suggests that Microsoft owning the Call of Duty brand as part of Acti-Blizz will be detrimental to competition in the gaming sector.

Microsoft's deal with Nintendo is an attempt to show that there isn't an intention to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox. Plus, they will also seek to expand the reach of the franchise into new markets.

Other markets, including the Brazilian market have already approved the acquisition. Microsoft are seeking worldwide approval before taking over the company.

Nvidia are also now supporting the deal. Microsoft have swayed them with the offer of all GamePass games being available on GeForce Now.

President Smith also pointed out that Microsoft has many of its games available on Sony's PlayStation already.

Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation, as well as Xbox, PC and soon Switch. Microsoft announcing their move to include Switch for Call of Duty should be the exact indicator that PlayStation need to the point that they will not be losing access to the franchise.

Microsoft's attempts to sway European regulators will continue over the next few days. By the end of their talks, they hope to have gained clearance for the deal from the region.