Microsoft confident Call of Duty: Warzone/Modern Warfare 2 could run on Switch
Native ports, not cloud streaming
Ever since Microsoft stated interest in bringing Call of Duty to Switch (and other Nintendo hardware) should their deal to acquire Activision Blizzard go through, plenty of people chimed in to say current Call of Duty games simply couldn’t run on the platform. There’s one major voice who feels quite the opposite on that matter; Microsoft themselves.
In a document shared by Microsoft with UK regulators (spotted by Videogames Chronicle), Microsoft asserts that getting Call of Duty up-and-running on Switch would be achievable.
Using Warzone as an example, Microsoft says the PC version of the game supports GPU cards that go back as far as 2015. This matters because the Switch came about in 2017, so figuring out some technical wizardry to bring the game over should be possible. Furthermore, Microsoft says Activision has “a long history of optimizing game performance for available hardware capabilities.” Finally, Microsoft said “the game engine that powers Warzone is mature and has been optimized to run on a wide range of hardware devices (ranging from the Xbox One console released in 2013 up to the Xbox Series X).”
Later on in their response, Microsoft also points to other similar-style titles that have found their way to Switch. Specifically mentioned were Apex Legends, DOOM Eternal, Fortnite, and Crysis 3. These are all titles that were considered impossible ports by armchair analysts, yet they’ve arrived on the platform to varying degrees of technical success.
Closing things out, Microsoft stated that, “the Parties are confident that in addition to Warzone, CoD buy-to-play titles (e.g., CoD: Modern Warfare 2) can be optimized to run on the Nintendo Switch in a timely manner using standard techniques which have been used to bring games such as Apex Legends, DOOM Eternal, Fortnite and Crysis 3 to the Switch.”
It’s important to note that Microsoft is talking about native ports of titles here, and not Cloud-based experiences. Many worried Microsoft would try a sly workaround and use Cloud-based tech to bring Call of Duty to Switch, but Microsoft’s argument to UK regulators clearly indicates they plan full-fledged ports.
Prove it. If not with COD (because MS don’t own it yet) then prove it with the latest Halo game.
The only way a Switch version would be plausible outside streaming/cloud would be if they built a Nintendo-specific version separate from the multiplatform version or use the Nintendo version as a base to build a multiplatform version on instead of just scaling down the PS/PC/Xbox version.
1) If they build a Nintendo specific version, it wouldn't be 5 stars in the graphics department, but should hit 60fps despite the weaker graphics. They'd probably use the CoD Mobile engine for it though. Crossplay won't be allowed since the tech between the Nintendo version and the rest would be too great.
Also with the smaller internal storage space by default in Switch, there may be a limit of what can be added to a Nintendo version compared to the multiplatform version. These are considerable concessions to be able to have a portable CoD.
2) If they use the Nintendo version to build the multiplatform versions later, then at least it would be plausible for crossplay to be a thing since the coding would be similar between all versions unless they use the CoD Mobile engine for Switch. That engine would guarantee no crossplay support between Switch and everyone else.
Well duh, anything can run on Switch with the right amount of work.