Next-gen Nintendo console news has swelled today with the revelation that Nintendo briefed Call of Duty maker Activision on its upcoming hardware in December 2022.
Emails released today as part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) versus Microsoft trial over the $69 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard reveal preparations for a meeting between Activision executives, including boss Bobby Kotick, and Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, set for December 15, 2022.
The emails about this executive briefing are heavily redacted, but they do include a note from Kotick, read out live during the trial in the summer, that hint at what players can expect performance wise from the upcoming hardware.
“Given the closer alignment to gen8 platforms in terms of performance and our previous offerings on PS4/ Xbox One, it is reasonable to assume that we could make something compelling for NG Switch as well.
“It would be helpful to secure early access to development hardware prototypes and prove that out nice and early.”
“Gen8” refers the the generation that includes the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One. “NG Switch” means “next-gen Switch”. In February, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the company had locked in a 10-year agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo device owners “the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity”.
Nintendo reportedly revealed Switch 2 behind closed doors at gamescom 2023 last month, showing off the power of its upcoming next-gen console.
According to Eurogamer, the Switch 2 was shown running a “souped up” version of Switch launch title Zelda: Breath of the Wild, although there’s apparently no suggestion the game will be re-released. Meanwhile, VGC reported Nintendo showed off Epic’s The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on hardware with the specs Nintendo is targeting for its future console. The site said this demo ran using Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS upscaling technology alongside ray tracing, with visuals “comparable” to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.
This seems to contradict Kotick’s comments about the performance of Switch 2, but it’s worth considering that the Activision boss may be talking about the console on a board horsepower level, and that support for the likes of DLSS and ray tracing mean Nintendo’s next console may have the capability to punch above its weight.
Nintendo is reportedly set to release its next-gen console during the second half of 2024, with development kits now with partner studios.
Apparently this new next-gen console can be used in portable mode, like the Nintendo Switch, and has an LCD screen as opposed to an OLED screen in order to keep costs down. It also comes with a cartridge slot for physical games. However, the crucial question of backwards compatibility with Nintendo Switch games remains unclear. Nintendo has yet to comment on the reports.
Nintendo has said it had moved on to a brand new The Legend of Zelda game, ruling out Tears of the Kingdom DLC. It seems likely this new Zelda game will launch on Nintendo’s next console. But will Nintendo re-release Tears of the Kingdom on Switch 2?