Activision Was Briefed on Nintendo’s Switch 2 in 2022

Switch 2

Rumors surrounding the highly anticipated Nintendo Switch 2 announcement have been steadily gaining momentum, especially after reports emerged of developer demos showcased at Gamescom just last month. However, what truly elevates these rumors to a new level of credibility is the revelation that Activision, one of the gaming industry’s giants, had a close encounter with the next-generation Nintendo Switch, all thanks to internal emails that surfaced during the FTC v. Microsoft case.

In a pivotal meeting that took place in December of 2022, Activision executives, including the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, sat down with their counterparts from Nintendo. The purpose of this summit was nothing short of monumental: to explore the possibilities and potential of a next-generation Switch. In the wake of this meeting, an internal email exchange saw Chris Schnakenberg, the head of Activision’s platform strategy and partner relations, meticulously outlining the prospects of what was referred to as “Switch NG” (Switch next-generation) within a document cryptically labeled “NG Switch Draft.pdf.”

The contents of this document have been heavily redacted, leaving gamers and industry enthusiasts clamoring for more details. However, amidst the redactions, a tantalizing snippet was unearthed, revealing that the performance benchmarks of the forthcoming Nintendo Switch generation would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One:

“The closer alignment to Gen8 platforms in terms of performance and our previous offerings on PS4 / Xbox One make it reasonable to assume we could craft something truly compelling for the NG Switch as well. It would be immensely beneficial to gain early access to development hardware prototypes and rigorously put these assumptions to the test.”

These revelations were soon disseminated to Bobby Kotick in preparation for his pivotal meeting with Nintendo’s CEO and president, Shuntaro Furukawa, which was slated for December 15th. In a surprising turn of events, Kotick would later testify during the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, expressing his regret over not having brought the immensely popular “Call of Duty” franchise to the Nintendo Switch. This admission prompted a barrage of inquiries from the FTC’s lawyers and Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley regarding the future prospects of Call of Duty on Nintendo’s consoles. Astonishingly, it was revealed that Microsoft’s agreement with Nintendo stipulated that a future Call of Duty title could find its way onto a Nintendo console, provided the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal secured regulatory approval.

FTC: “So, even without Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, it’s likely that Activision would independently consider making Call of Duty available for Nintendo’s future console, correct?”

Kotick: “We would certainly consider it once we had access to the specifications required. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity with the previous generation of the Switch, but we’d be eager to explore the possibility once detailed specifications become available. As of now, we don’t have any concrete plans in place.”

FTC: “It’s reasonable to assume that Activision, on its own accord, would develop a Call of Duty game for Nintendo’s next-generation console, correct?”

Kotick: “I believe that once we have the detailed specifications, and considering our past omission with the previous generation of the Switch, we would be inclined to pursue such a venture. However, our current stance remains contingent on the revelation of these specifications, and at present, we have no definitive plans.”

These exchanges paint a vivid picture of Nintendo’s proactive approach in preparing key publishers like Activision for the forthcoming next-generation Switch. As far back as July, VGC (Video Games Chronicle) reported that Nintendo had a new iteration of the Switch in the pipeline, scheduled for a 2024 release. This iteration is rumored to feature an LCD screen, a departure from the OLED display, and will continue to support cartridge slots for those who prefer physical game releases.

Furthermore, earlier this month, Eurogamer reported that select developers were granted an exclusive preview of the Nintendo Switch 2 during Gamescom in August. These privileged individuals were treated to technical demonstrations showcasing how games would perform on this unannounced system. Among the tech demos, one standout feature was an improved version of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” specifically optimized to run on the enhanced hardware of the Nintendo Switch 2.

Adding more weight to these reports, VGC corroborated the claims, revealing that Nintendo also showcased Epic Games’ “The Matrix Awakens” Unreal Engine 5 tech demo, running seamlessly on the hardware intended for the next-generation Switch. This particular demonstration incorporated Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology, complete with ray tracing capabilities, hinting at the remarkable potential of the chip residing within the next Switch, making it capable of delivering cutting-edge AAA gaming experiences. The gaming world now eagerly anticipates the future unveiling of this promising console, poised to usher in a new era of gaming excellence.