Microsoft should consider bringing its Xbox games to Nintendo Switch and other platforms. This thought comes in the wake of word getting out that tools will be made available to developers that are hoping to implement the features from Xbox Live on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Presumably similar to the way that gamers are able to log into their Xbox Live account in Minecraft on Switch, this will allow cross-play and achievement tracking across titles.
But what if Microsoft has bigger plans in place? What if doing so is a bigger bid at building a presence without hardware restrictions? This would be a timely and appropriate presence to pursue ahead of the company's "Netflix for games" service called xCloud arriving at some point down the road. Truthfully, there are several reasons why this plan could spell immediate and longterm success for the company – but this play especially benefits the Xbox brand on Nintendo Switch.
There are a few immediate benefits to taking this approach from a sales perspective. Software is able to appeal to a broader range of consumers as a result of being available on platforms outside of the Xbox, but it also helps with the games as a service/platform initiative that's been trending in recent titles. For example, if Sea of Thieves needed a boost in community engagement, a port of the game on Nintendo Switch would allow for more people to set sail with their friends with some cross-platform play.
Other exclusives like like Halo: The Master Chief Collection would serve as a perfect introduction leading up to anticipated release of Halo Infinite. Meanwhile, the financial risk of resurrecting a fan-favorite series like Banjo-Kazooie is diminished significantly when you can more than double the reach of the accessible audience. There's genuine value in this outside of an inherently lower risk, however.
Bringing previously exclusive titles to a new console may initially seem like a bad idea for sales of Xbox One hardware, but it makes sense in certain instances. The outreach to consumers has benefits in appealing to those that may not be familiar with Microsoft's first-party IP. More or less, this is a profitable marketing initiative that introduces and makes properties accessible to a wider audience. Audiences that could one day be subscribing to the same "Netflix for games" service that's in the works.
The market itself is shifting, and things are going to change as the industry begins to allow for an open-platform, cross-play ecosystem – rather than the gating of gaming communities. This approach has proven successful for games like Fortnite and Minecraft, and it's a trend that would lend itself well to more. Truthfully, Xbox games arriving on Switch with cross-play is better for the studios making these games, it's better for Microsoft that invests heavily into these titles, and it's better for fans. It's a rare scenario where everyone wins.