If the rumor mill is to be trusted (and it rarely is), we might see an exclusive Xbox game on Nintendo Switch soon. The rumor comes from Nate the Hate, a content creator with a track record of correctly predicting game announcements. According to him, Microsoft is preparing to launch a critically acclaimed Xbox game on Nintendo’s platform soon. He’s staying tight-lipped on what game that actually is, though.
With no confirmation, gaming fans spent the weekend fantasizing about what Xbox title could be Switch-bound. The most common theory is last year’s excellent Hi-Fi Rush, which other would-be insiders have backed up. Still, there’s no official word on anything, making it the perfect recipe for getting one’s hopes up.
The best I can do is help set some expectations. In reality, there is a precedent for Microsoft games coming to Switch. Just look at titles like last year’s Minecraft Legends. Naturally, only a handful of titles could run on the Switch’s dated hardware — sorry, Starfield fans. Here are the four most likely options; call me an insider if I get it right.
Let’s talk about the biggest possibility first: Hi-Fi Rush. In a YouTube video, Nate the Hate notes that the game in question is critically acclaimed and was in game of the year conversations at release. For the sake of fun speculation, we’re going to take that claim at face value. If that’s indeed true, Hi-Fi Rush is a fair option. It was a huge critical darling in 2023, reviewing better than titles like Starfield and Star Wars Jed: Survivor, according to Metacritic. Plus, thanks to its colorful art style, it seems like a perfect fit for the handheld.
The question here is whether the Switch could actually run it. While it’s a smaller game, it isn’t a cross-generation release; you can’t play it on Xbox One. That would imply it’s perhaps a little more powerful than fans might expect. Granted, Bethesda has a history of squeezing powerful games like Doom Eternal onto Switch with fairly impressive ports. There’s a fair chance that Hi-Fi Rush could get the same treatment, but Bethesda will really have to push the Switch to its limits to make it work.
While Hi-Fi Rush would be the most exciting possibility, there’s a much more plausible option. Obsidian’s Pentiment, a critically acclaimed 16th-century RPG, seems like it would have a much easier time running on the Switch. It’s less technically demanding thanks to its visual novel setup and would pair well with a portable console. Considering that it reviewed quite well when it launched in 2022, it would fit Nate the Hate’s bill of a “game of the year contender.”
While Microsoft owns Obsidian, there’s precedent for its games appearing on Switch. 2019’s The Outer Worlds got a Switch port in 2020, two years after Microsoft acquired the company. It’s reasonable to imagine that Pentiment could get the same treatment if Microsoft were looking further to expand the audience of a niche console game. For what it’s worth, I think it would be the best option of the four here. A game like Pentiment feels custom-made for the Switch because of its portable nature. Microsoft would be smart to bring smaller titles like it to Nintendo’s system.
I imagine those previous two options will be common points of speculation, but there’s one sleeper pick that’s more likely than either of them: As Dusk Falls. Like Pentiment, the small-scale visual novel seems like a logical match for the Switch’s limited hardware. Plus, the episodic nature of its story would lend itself well to a pick-up-and-play device like the Switch. It’s meant to be played in half-hour chunks, almost like watching a TV show.
Though it wasn’t exactly a “game of the year” contender in 2022, it did receive some critical acclaim from sites like IGN and Gamespot. It even landed a Game Award win in the Games for Impact category. What makes this more realistic is that developer Interior Night announced in December that the title would be coming to PlayStation consoles this March. Considering that a multiplatform port is already in the works, it’s entirely possible that a Switch version ends up coming out near or alongside that.
Perhaps the answer could be even more obvious, though. While newer games are top of mind for gamers, plenty of cross-generation Xbox games from the early Series X days could still make a jump to Switch. Chief among those possibilities is Psychonauts 2. While the other three games I mentioned here were all theoretical “contenders,” Double Fine’s beloved platformer is the only one that actually snagged a Game of the Year nomination at the Game Awards the year it launched.
Considering that it runs on PS4 and Xbox One, it’s easier to imagine that Double Fine could get it running on Switch over a new release like Hi-Fi Rush. It’s also already a multiplatform game, available cross-generation on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. I was surprised to remember that it isn’t already on Switch, as one would think that a colorful platformer that takes cues from Nintendo’s design playbook would have been ported there by now. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the games mentioned here on Switch, Psychonauts 2 might be the most sensible option.
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