What you need to know:
- As the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard acquisition continues to labor on, the UK Government has proved it has literally no idea how modern gaming works.
- In a report it has suggested it sees no way that Call of Duty will ever run properly on the Nintendo Switch.
- These same people also clearly haven’t heard about cloud gaming.
Tired of the never-ending story of the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard? I know I am, and today’s latest development is that the Government in the country I call home is completely inept over the matter.
In a recent report, highlighted by our pals at TechRadar Gaming, the CMA, the UK’s competitions body, has weighed in on Microsoft’s deal with Nintendo to put Call of Duty onto the Switch.
They have concluded in all their wisdom that the Nintendo Switch is not “technically capable” of running Call of Duty. Stand down, Digital Foundry, there’s a new expert in town.
There’s quite likely some truth in it. The Switch hardware is fairly old and was underpowered compared to Xbox and PlayStation when it launched. It’s even further behind now. But there’s still plenty we don’t know. Like, for one, whether Nintendo has a new console in the pipeline. The deal is for a pretty long period of time after all.
But there’s a much bigger Elephant staring at them across the room; Cloud gaming. The technology already exists to put Call of Duty onto the Nintendo Switch. Games like Control, Dying Light 2 and Hitman 3 already exist on the Switch thanks to the cloud. Sure, it’s not as convenient as being able to play these games offline, but that isn’t the point.
The point is all of those games aren’t “technically capable” of running on the Switch and so they’re delivered using the cloud. And from my experience, it’s not been bad. Cloud gaming isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. Call of Duty is a huge install, too, so pointing to the cloud really is the most obvious option. You have to be online to play everything except the campaign, anyway.
Microsoft has already committed as part of the same deal to put all of its first-party Xbox and Activision Blizzard games onto NVIDIA GeForce Now as part of this same acquisition. A Chromebook isn’t “technically capable” of playing Call of Duty either, but you’ll damn well be able to do it. Just like you can already play a number of intense PC and console titles from the same service and through Xbox Cloud Streaming.
There’s also the fact that the deal could include classic Call of Duty titles, many of which are still enjoyed today through backward compatibility. Nintendo had titles on its own consoles up to Call of Duty: Ghosts.
So, once more, we have bodies in charge of vetting such large acquisitions proving they have literally no idea what they’re doing. Microsoft is trying to meet all parties in the middle to get this deal over the line, and still, we have nonsense like this potentially holding it up.
It’s frankly ridiculous, as are most things that involve Governments making decisions on things they’re clearly not educated in. Whether this will have any impact on getting the deal finished, who knows? Guess we’ll have to sit tight and wait for the next installment in the saga.