It seems that the rumors concerning the growing relationship between Microsoft and Nintendo might be true, as Cuphead has just been announced for the Nintendo Switch as part of the latest Nindies Direct.
Cuphead is a run-and-gun game from 2017 that is known for its incredible cartoon aesthetic and retro soundtrack, which makes the player feel as if they are playing an old Disney or Fleischer Studios cartoon. The extreme difficulty of Cuphead did little to prevent the game from receiving almost universal praise and numerous awards & nominations, to the point where it was considered to be one of the best Microsoft-exclusive games of all time.
The exclusivity of Cuphead ended in 2018 when it was ported to macOS, but the game is now making its way to the system of another industry leader, as today's Nindies Direct opened up with the announcement of Cuphead being ported to the Nintendo Switch and will be available on April 18, 2019. The trailer showed a graphic of Cuphead and Mugman playing with a single Joy-Con each, which means that two players can enjoy the game anywhere in tabletop mode.
The most important moment in the Cuphead presentation was a brief line spoken by the narrator, who said: "You can thank StudioMDHR for making their award-winning game so special and our friends at Microsoft for helping us to bring Cuphead to even more players". The fact that Nintendo representatives took time out of a presentation to thank Microsoft (and call them friends) suggests that we may be seeing more collaborations between the two companies in the future.
There have been a lot of rumors lately concerning Microsoft and Nintendo working on big things together. The most substantial of the rumors suggest that the Xbox Game Pass will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, which would allow games such as Ori and the Blind Forest to be available on a Nintendo console. It bears mentioning that Cuphead is one of the games that is not currently available as part of the Xbox Game Pass, which means that its presence on the Nintendo Switch doesn't detract from the earlier rumor of the Game Pass coming to the system.
The relationship between Microsoft and Nintendo has been growing thanks to their acceptance of cross-play with games like Minecraft, while Sony has been doing its best to distance itself from the competition. With the next generation of consoles on the horizon, it's possible that Microsoft and Nintendo are forming a Game of Thrones-style alliance to fight against Sony's dominance in the marketplace, as well as the new challenger in the form of the Google Stadia platform.