Call of Duty games coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox boss confirms

Call of Duty would be great on the Nintendo Switch, with the handheld/home console hybrid device perfect for pick up and play online sessions. Strangely enough, though, the series has never released on the platform, despite some history with the first-person shooter and Nintendo consoles.

There are various reasons why the Switch has yet to receive a Call of Duty game, including its relative lack of power compared to its PlayStation and Xbox counterparts. This hasn’t stopped us, or Xbox boss Phil Spencer, from believing though.

A lack of power hasn’t stopped ports of other games from appearing on the Switch, including Activision’s own recent return to the Crash Bandicoot series. With some sensible downgrades to resolution and textures, the Switch is capable enough for ports of just about anything if a development studio really wants to give it a go.

With all of this in mind, read on to find out why there are no Call of Duty games on Switch, and whether CoD games will ever release on the platform or not.

Why are there no Call of Duty games on Switch?

While the question is difficult to answer, it’s more than likely that there are no Call of Duty games on the Switch due to the console’s relative lack of power. There’s no argument that the Switch is capable of outputting some seriously pretty visuals (see Luigi’s Mansion 3, Super Mario Odyssey, etc.), but it’s clear that it simply cannot keep up with the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Certain game engines just won’t work on the Switch, but this shouldn’t stop tailor-made versions from existing. The Wii received a bunch of CoD games with lesser graphics and Nintendo’s lesser-known Wii U had ports of a few, including fan-favourite Black Ops II. There’s nothing wrong with ports of games with worse graphics, as long as they’re playable and not exceedingly ugly. If the Wii was capable, the Switch is too.

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The trouble with this approach is that it would take a lot of work to port the newer entries onto the Switch and have them playable while still passing the visuals test well enough. Obviously, Activision hasn’t been up to the task at this point, otherwise you’d feel they might have capitalised on the Switch’s worldwide success five years into the console’s life cycle.

Another reason for the Switch lacking Call of Duty games could be to do with their gargantuan file sizes. Again, this could be worked on in a port. Lower-quality textures and good compression should help in this regard.

The main reason, as always, will likely go down to cost. Activision will probably believe that it is simply not worth the resources and time to port CoD games to the Switch. It’s not like the series is struggling without being on Switch now, is it?

Will Call of Duty games ever come to Switch?

Update as of 7th December 2022:

Xbox boss Phil Spencer tweeted in the early hours of 7th December 2022 that “Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King.” You can see the full Tweet below:

Following earlier speculation, it has now been confirmed by Microsoft that it will be bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch, as long as its merger with Activision goes ahead. Spencer also confirmed a 10-year commitment to Call of Duty on Steam.

Thanks to an interview with The Washington Post, it’s known that: “The deal does not specify the first year a Call of Duty title would be available on the Nintendo Switch.” Spencer adds that “development work to make [Call of Duty] happen would likely take a little bit of time,” owing to the Switch’s more limited hardware. Because of this, Spencer told The Washington Post “the entire portfolio would still have be looked at to see which titles make it over to the Switch”.

This means that we could be seeing either brand-new CoD titles on the Switch, or (as detailed above) ports of older games – or both. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Nintendo and Call of Duty.

Spencer continues, explaining that once Call of Duty is on the Switch, the plan would be to launch new games in the series simultaneously on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo (whether that’s the Switch or whatever Nintendo has up its sleeves next).

The Xbox boss even goes so far as to detail how Microsoft and Activision will handle development on the Switch, likening Call of Duty to Minecraft and explaining: “Minecraft and Call of Duty are different games. But from how you get games onto Nintendo, how you run a development team that is targeting multiple platforms, that’s experience we have.”

As long as we get Call of Duty on the Switch, we’ll be happy. At the very least, porting some of the series’s older games onto the platform so we can play them on the go while giving a boost to their online player bases would be welcomed.

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