Microsoft’s relationship with Nintendo the past couple years has been surprisingly good. When Cuphead was announced for Switch early last year, it shocked the gaming community to learn that the once exclusive platformer was making its way to the hybrid console. Since then, we got Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, two critically acclaimed Microsoft exclusives, and although Microsoft claims no more exclusives are on the horizon, one more absolutely should; Halo: Combat Evolved.
Microsoft has held on to its strongest franchise for a very long time. Since 2001, Halo and Master Chief have been about as synonymous in video games as Mario or Sonic. The helmet, the voice, and the worlds are amazing, and the evolution of console first-person shooters were redefined thanks to the popular franchise.
“But this is Microsoft’s flagship!”, some of you may utter. Yeah. You are correct. Putting the iconic first entry in the Halo franchise on the Switch would be a bold move, but it would do some truly magical things for both Microsoft and Nintendo. Things that will improve fan relations, things that will help with overall sales, and things that will communicate to the world that two major companies can play nice.
Since the announcement and launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft has created a lot of tension with their fans due to some strange business practices and ideas. It has not been an easy road since, and the Xbox One is, by far, the worst selling home console of this current generation. The Nintendo Switch and the Playstation 4 have dominated the scene the past many years, and this has caused Microsoft to make some drastic changes and decisions.
One such decision was showing respect to PC players by opening up Xbox LIVE for those with a Windows PC and/or an Xbox One. This was a step in the right direction, but it clearly was too little, too late.
Since the launch of the Xbox One, Xbox Gold Pass has been incredible. Personally, it has offered much better games than its competition at Playstation+, but something still has not been attracting old players back to the brand.
But when Microsoft approved for Cuphead to go to the Nintendo Switch, something special happened. Fans of both Microsoft and Nintendo started to change their thinking about the powerhouse company, and it really did feel like the start of relational healing.
Since then, both Ori games have been released on Switch to widespread praise and adoration. Fans online have been speculating of the relationship between the two companies, and that is a great thing. Fans love to see positive things happening within the gaming world, and what would be more positive than seeing Halo: Combat Evolved on a Nintendo Switch?
Potentially High Sales
If Microsoft put Halo: Combat Evolved on the Switch, it truly wouldn’t hurt them in any way. Quite the contrary, it would do nothing but help them and rake in tons and tons of extra money.
Cuphead‘s release on the Nintendo Switch helped propel the game’s sales to over 4 million. That is simply more money in Nintendo’s pocket, Studio HDMR’s pocket, and Microsoft’s pocket. If Microsoft denied this opportunity, they would have missed out on such a major increase in sales for a game with wide appeal.
Ori and the Blind Forest similarly did well on the hybrid console, so much so that Microsoft approved the porting of the sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
These numbers should speak loudly to both Nintendo and Microsoft, and with the upcoming Xbox Series X launch and the forthcoming Halo: Infinite game, promoting the popular series and its brilliant start in Halo: Combat Evolved on the Nintendo Switch would do right by everyone involved.
This would bring a much needed first-person shooter to the Switch, and it would expose the series to an install base of over 65 million people. How could Microsoft say no to such a money-making opportunity? Not only will the sales of Halo: Combat Evolved on the Switch be insane, but this is basically the perfect kind of promotion for their own product.
You see, many Nintendo console owners also own one other console. With the launches of the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 around the corner, a lot of Switch owners are beginning to eye what console they will be investing in next. Based on current pre-orders, Sony is well ahead already, but that doesn’t have to be the conclusion.
If Microsoft continues to build this positive relationship with Nintendo, Nintendo fans will notice and begin to show support for the Xbox once again, which will bring it a hefty amount of new potential console sales and first-party game sales.
I mean, Microsoft wants more money, right? A Halo: Combat Evolved release on Switch will make a lot of money on the side and bring over many new fans. That’s a win/win if you ask me.
Major Companies Playing Nice
As Super Smash Bros Ultimate continues to be the most insane fighting collaboration in gaming history, it still feels like it is missing a couple major icons from gaming history. While some of them are a bit more complicated than others, Master Chief simply needs a yes from Microsoft.
Imagine the Mini-Direct that focuses on a new Smash Bros Ultimate character, and it is revealed to be Master Chief. The gaming landscape will lose their collective minds and praise for Nintendo and Microsoft will be on an uncanny level.
How can we focus on Microsoft and Nintendo’s previous gaffs when the two finally make such an awesome decision together? The amount of money that would come in on the sale of one Smash Bros character would be unrivaled. Master Chief (Outside of Goku, maybe) is the most requested fighter in the franchise, and it only makes sense to add him in.
Not only that, but in that same Mini-Direct, imagine a last minute announcement that in celebration of this monumental occasion, Halo: Combat Evolved is available on the eShop… RIGHT NOW. Think of the hype and what it means to see a Microsoft icon in a Nintendo game and a Microsoft first-party franchise on a Nintendo console. It would be huge.
What if the benefits of such relational building leads to Nintendo lending some of their franchises to Microsoft? Imagine 343 Studios being given control of the Metroid series for one game and what that means for a franchise that has been struggling under Nintendo’s control the past 10+ years. Even more simply, imagine Nintendo offering Mario’s likeness in some first-party Microsoft games. If Microsoft does well to Nintendo, I can only imagine that Nintendo will do well to Microsoft.
For two companies that couldn’t be more different, seeing them come together and showing the gaming world that anything is possible could be a game changer, and it could be exactly what both companies need as we move into this next generation.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link! What do you think of the relationship between Microsoft and Nintendo? Do you think Halo: Combat Evolved on the eShop could exactly what both companies need? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.