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Activision was briefed on Nintendo’s Switch 2 last year

Activision was briefed on Nintendo’s Switch 2 last year


Activision executives met with Nintendo in December to discuss plans for a next-generation Switch, which is described as closer to PS4 / Xbox One performance.

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A Nintendo Switch
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Rumors of a Nintendo Switch 2 announcement have grown recently after reports of developer demos at Gamescom last month. Now, we know that Activision was briefed on a next-generation Nintendo Switch last year, thanks to internal emails from the FTC v. Microsoft case.

Activision executives, including CEO Bobby Kotick, met with Nintendo executives in December 2022 to discuss a next-generation Switch. In an internal email chain, Chris Schnakenberg, head of Activision’s platform strategy and partner relations, prepared a summary of the “Switch NG” (Switch next-generation) inside a document labeled “NG Switch Draft.pdf.”

The document is heavily redacted, but it does reveal that performance of the next-generation Switch will be close to that of the PS4 and Xbox One:

Given the closer alignment to Gen8 platforms in terms of performance and our previous offerings on PS4 / Xbox One, it is reasonable to assume we could make something compelling for the NG Switch as well. It would be helpful to secure early access to development hardware prototypes and prove that out nice and early.

Activision internal emails about the next-generation Nintendo Switch.
Activision internal emails about the next-generation Nintendo Switch.
Image: US Courts

The executive briefing summary and preparation materials were then sent on to Kotick ahead of the December 15th meeting with Nintendo CEO and president Shuntaro Furukawa. Kotick went on to testify in the FTC v. Microsoft hearing that he regretted not bringing Call of Duty to the Switch. This led to questioning from both the FTC’s lawyers and Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley about Call of Duty on the Switch. The FTC revealed that the agreement Microsoft signed with Nintendo also purports to bring a future Call of Duty game to a future Nintendo console if Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal is approved by regulators.

FTC: So even without Microsoft buying Activision, it’s likely that Activision would on its own make Call of Duty available for Nintendo’s future console, right?

Kotick: We would consider it once we had the specs, but we don’t have them at present. We missed out on the opportunity for this past generation of Switch, but we’d have to wait until the specifications. We don’t have any present plans to do so.

FTC: It’s likely that Activision on its own would make a Call of Duty game for Nintendo’s future generation console, right?

Kotick: I think once we get the detailed specifications. We missed out on this past generation of Switch, so I’d like to think that we’d be able to do that. We’d have to wait until the specifications, but we don’t have any present plans to do so.

Nintendo has clearly been preparing key publishers like Activision for the next-generation Switch for months now. VGC reported in July that a new Nintendo Switch is being planned for a 2024 release. The new console is said to include an LCD screen instead of OLED and continue to support cartridge slots for playing physical releases of games.

Earlier this month, Eurogamer reported that trusted developers got an early look at the Nintendo Switch 2 during Gamescom in August, including some tech demos of how games run on the unannounced system. There was reportedly a demo of an improved version of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that’s designed to run on the more advanced hardware inside the Nintendo Switch 2.

VGC then corroborated the claims and added that Nintendo also showcased Epic Games’ The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on the hardware Nintendo is targeting for its next-generation Switch. The demo reportedly used Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology with ray tracing enabled, suggesting the chip inside the next Switch could be capable of delivering the latest AAA games.