Rumors are circulating that Microsoft is looking to bring its pay-for-access game library Xbox Game Pass to a platform other than the Xbox One.
But while the original Xbox Game Pass subscription allows its members to download and play any number of games featured in the Game Pass library, the Switch version is rumored to be a streaming service (similar to PlayStation Now or Google’s Project Stream).
It’s an interesting way to close the platform gap and, in a roundabout sort of way, provides a way for Xbox-minded game developers to get their creations in the hands of Switch owners without taking on the process of porting and releasing the games on a new platform.
This all comes only months after Xbox head Phil Spencer said that Microsoft intends to bring Xbox Game Pass to “every device", though at the time most were speculating Spencer was referring to mobile devices rather than other, non-Microsoft consoles like the Switch.
According to these recent rumors, the Switch version of Xbox Game Pass would be powered by Microsoft’s own Project xCloud service it announced last year and would grant Game Pass subscribers the ability to stream and play Xbox games on their Switch across an internet connection.
The downside there is that the playability of cloud-based games is typically at the mercy of the quality of a player’s internet connection, but companies have been making strides in progressing the tech in just recent years. Nintendo, for one, has already hosted a few cloud-based games on its flagship platform (though only in Japan), including pay-as-you-play versions of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. In both of those cases, players downloaded a small 45MB application that streamed the rest of the game over an internet connection.
The original report also mentions that Microsoft has plans to publish some of its Xbox One- and PC-exclusive titles on the Switch in the near future, starting with Ori and the Blind Forest.