Nintendo has been briefing “key partner studios” on its next-generation Nintendo Switch hardware ahead of the console’s reported 2024 release, according to multiple reports. We now know that one of those companies is Activision, thanks to new filings in the Federal Trade Commission v. Microsoft case that were first reported by The Verge.
The email chain from December 2022 and its attached document are heavily redacted, but they show that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick met with Nintendo president and CEO Shuntaro Furukawa on Dec. 15. The document was sent by Chris Schnakenberg, senior vice president of global platform strategy and partner relations at Activision, to platform strategy and partnerships director Rana Brahma and Activision chief financial officer Armin Zerza, the later of whom passed it along to Kotick.
Almost nine entire pages are redacted, with only a small note on the next-generation Switch’s performance expectations left visible:
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.
The document purports that Nintendo’s upcoming new console performs more closely to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 than the Switch. Other than that new tidbit, there’s not much else known about the system; it’s reported to use an LCD screen rather than an OLED display, and to be playable as a portable console just like the existing Switch. Nintendo has shown the console running a higher-spec version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Matrix Awakens’ Unreal Engine 5 demo, VGC reported.
There are no details on when Nintendo’s new console could be released, aside from a launch window reportedly set for the second half of 2024.
As for the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard merger case with the FTC, a judge ruled in Microsoft’s favor in July, before the FTC appealed the decision later that week. So why are documents about Nintendo products tied up in the case? That’s because of Call of Duty exclusivity — or, rather, a lack thereof. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard pledged to keep the popular game available on all platforms, including the Switch. It was whether the game would continue to be released on Sony’s platforms, however, that was a big sticking point for the FTC. On July 17, days after the judge ruled in favor of the merger, Sony signed a deal with Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for the next 10 years.