Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick was briefed by Nintendo on Switch 2 in December last year.
Emails between Activision executives – made public as part of the FTC’s court case with Microsoft and published today by The Verge, albeit with many redactions – show that the company’s controversial boss Bobby Kotick spoke with Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa about Switch 2 at the end of 2022.
Activision exec Chris Schnakenberg noted that the console was expected to be weigh in with a “closer alignment to Gen 8 platforms in terms of performance”, referring to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation of consoles.
“It is reasonable to assume we could make something compelling for the NG [next-generation] Switch as well,” Schnakenberg wrote. “It would be helpful to secure early access to development hardware prototypes and prove that out nice and early.”
The details give further clarity on Nintendo’s timeline for prepping Switch 2 – which is now widely-expected to arrive in 2024 – but also Kotick and Microsoft’s own comments on Call of Duty’s future on Nintendo consoles.
Two months after Activision executives had apparently peered at Switch 2 details, Microsoft president Brad Smith was publicly able to outline Microsoft’s plan to bring Call of Duty to “Nintendo devices” (unspecified) should the Activision Blizzard deal go through.
Later that month, Microsoft announced it had finalised a binding 10-year agreement to launch Call of Duty on Nintendo platforms on “the same day as Xbox, with full feature and content parity”.
The matter of whether Nintendo consoles could run Call of Duty was picked up on by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which criticised Microsoft’s claim that the Switch could run Call of Duty.
“Nintendo does not currently offer COD, and we have seen no evidence to suggest that its consoles would be technically capable of running a version of COD that is similar to those in Xbox and PlayStation in terms of quality of gameplay and content,” the CMA wrote in April this year, as part of its final report blocking Microsoft’s deal.
Maybe the CMA should have tuned in to Bobby Kotick’s call with Nintendo?
That said, Kotick claimed in July this year still not to know the “detailed specifications” of Switch 2, when speaking on the record as part of the FTC’s court hearing on Microsoft’s takeover bid.
Digital Foundry previously asked the question of whether the full Call of Duty experience could transition to a Nintendo console. The response? It all depended which Switch you were talking about.
Earlier this month, Eurogamer broke the news that Nintendo demoed the capabilities of Switch 2 to a wider pool of developers at Gamescom in August, ahead of the console’s expected launch in 2024.