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Xbox-exclusive games could find a second home on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch review
Nate Barrett/Digital Trends

Microsoft abandoned the idea of true Xbox One exclusives when it launched the Xbox Play Anywhere program across the console and PC, but it looks like things could be taken a step further. A new report claimed the company is preparing to release some of its games, including Ori and the Blind Forest, on the Nintendo Switch.

According to the YouTube gaming outlet Direct-Feed Games, Microsoft and Nintendo are planning on strengthening their partnership this year with the launch of more Microsoft-published games on the Switch. The partnership will apparently involve bringing an official Xbox app to the console, which will make use of both the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, as well as the upcoming Project xCloud. With the latter service, the Switch could play games the hardware was not originally equipped to play.

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The move would further enforce Microsoft’s — and head of Xbox Phil Spencer’s — vision that the Xbox brand is no longer about hardware. With the PlayStation 4 selling far more units this generation, Microsoft has instead focused on subscription services and getting games onto more devices. Minecraft is playable with cross-play support on Nintendo Switch, and if the latest report happens to be true, more Microsoft-published games will likely join it. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was developed by Ninja Theory before the studio was purchased by Microsoft, and a Switch version was just announced earlier in February.

The Nintendo Switch’s controllers don’t offer the exact same functionality of the Xbox One gamepad or a PC keyboard, but Project xCloud was already being designed with alternate control schemes in mind. Using touchscreens on phones, players will have access to tailored setups, and it will also support Bluetooth controllers. Whether custom functionality like this will come to the reported Switch versions of games remains to be seen.

Despite mixed reviews for recent Xbox One games like Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves, there is still a lot to like about Microsoft’s own games. Forza Horizon 4 is one of the best racing games we’ve played in years, and State of Decay 2 offers a nice balance of action and resource management during a zombie apocalypse.

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Goldeneye 007 comes to Game Pass and Nintendo Switch later this week
goldeneye 007 switch xbox release date january 27

Rare, Nintendo, and Xbox Game Studios confirmed that their remaster of classic Nintendo 64 FPS Goldeneye 007 will launch on January 27 across Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
GoldenEye 007 – Xbox Game Pass Date Reveal Trailer
For most, this long-awaited enhanced re-release will be locked behind a subscription service. On Nintendo Switch, the only way to play Goldeneye 007 is with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass subscription, which grants players access to a variety of Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, NES, and SNES games alongside the DLC to some first-party Nintendo titles. That said, Microsoft has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch version of Goldeneye 007 will be the only one to feature online multiplayer, although it'll still be displayed in split-screen.
Meanwhile, the Xbox versions of Goldeneye 007 don't have online multiplayer but benefit from the addition of achievements and an upgraded 16:9 4K resolution. To play the game on Xbox, you'll need to either have an Xbox Game Pass subscription or own the gaming compilation Rare Replay that was released in 2015. Still, fans are probably happy that they'll just be able to experience this classic on a modern controller.
While it has aged quite a bit, Goldeneye 007 is a highly influential FPS game that also became an iconic Nintendo 64 release thanks to its fun multiplayer. Unfortunately, the license it's attached to likely prevented the game from getting a proper re-release until now. It was one of the best announcements in September's Nintendo Direct, and its launch will also technically mark the first Xbox first-party game released in 2022. 
Goldeneye 007 releases for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on January 27. 

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This console generation isn’t about games or hardware. It’s about services
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It’s been over two years since the start of the current console generation, which launched with a rocky start at the end of 2020. You'd think it's been more than long enough to understand what it's all about, but for many, there's still confusion. That might be changing this year. As Tomas Franzese wrote earlier this month, 2023 could be the year where we finally see what games define this generation’s consoles, at least in terms of exclusives. He also noted that games could stop being cross-platform, launching on just current-gen consoles instead of simultaneously on last-gen ones.

While that'll finally give us some memorable games, it doesn't bring us closer to defining the hardware itself. Besides a few extra teraflops and new ultra-fast SSDs, there isn’t much that helps the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S stand out from their predecessors. Sure, the PS5 looks like a giant spaceship, and the Xbox Series X is built like a fridge, but we didn’t know what these devices could offer that the PS4 and Xbox One couldn’t besides some pretty lighting effects and virtually non-existent loading times.

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The Nintendo Switch games with the best graphics
Mario throws his hat, Cappy, while exploring New Dunk City

Look -- no one is going to argue that the Nintendo Switch is a graphical powerhouse on par with other modern consoles. Released in 2017 as a hybrid device, its lower specs make sense, of course, given that Nintendo designed the Switch to function as both a home entertainment system and a handheld. Despite the console not bringing high-end hardware to the table, though, many developers have found ways to pull off some visually impressive titles over the past half-decade. Here are some of the Nintendo Switch games with the best graphics.

Super Mario Odyssey

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