Phil Spencer would love Nintendo games on Xbox


By Reinier Macatangay

While the prospect of proper Nintendo games on Xbox is remote, Microsoft will welcome them with open arms if the House of Mario ever changes its mind.

Consider the words of Phil Spencer, leader of the Microsoft’s Xbox division, in a recent interview with AusGamers.

“As someone who’s been in this industry and played games forever, I’ll still say it: Nintendo has the strongest first-party of anybody. They’re just fantastic and the memories that they have instilled in so many of us, who’ve played their games and had those delightful experiences, having those on Xbox would be great,” Spencer said.

“In fact they put Mario in Minecraft on Wii U with the mash-up skin pack. And continuing to work with them on that and building a stronger relationship … I mean if that paid dividends down the road that lead to something else, that would be fantastic. I know I get questions all the time on would I ever like to see Banjo in Super Smash Bros. and I’m, like, ‘Yes, I would do that in a second.’”

“Anyway, I’m a big Nintendo fan and I think they’ve been incredibly important for the games industry, they do a great job with younger audiences, and if we ever had a chance to work with them in the future, I would absolutely do it.”

Since the PS3/Wii/Xbox 360 era, there has always been a truce between Xbox and Wii fans. Remember back in 2006 after Sony’s poorly received E3 presentation, when Peter Moore (formerly of Microsoft) suggested gamers would buy both consoles. The common enemy was the PlayStation 3 and its hefty announced price tag.

“Tell me why you would buy a US$600 PS3? People are going to buy two (consoles). They’re going to buy an Xbox 360 and they’re going to buy a Wii … for the price of one PS3,” he declared (via Hexus).

The friendship between the two companies continued this year.

“Happy anniversary, @Xbox! Congratulations on 15 fantastic years,” Nintendo tweeted a few weeks ago.

Spencer declared his hope for Nintendo games on Xbox. It is a longshot though. Nintendo first-party games are the main reason to buy Nintendo consoles, and by making games for other platforms, the company takes a risk.

Still, 25 years ago no one thought Sega games had a chance of appearing on Nintendo either. Then, Sega’s innovative Dreamcast console failed and the longtime Nintendo rival suddenly gave up on hardware.

Flash forward to today, and Sega’s flagship franchise Sonic the Hedgehog is a constant presence on Nintendo.

In a best case scenario, there will be guest appearances by Nintendo characters in Xbox games, or perhaps a one-off deal where Nintendo releases a single Xbox title in order to introduce people to their world.

At least, the two companies are friends, which gives some hope. Plus, Pokemon Go! released on smartphones earlier this year, and Super Mario Run is set to come out on iOS soon, which both show it is possible for Nintendo to allow games on another platform (although the Switch might need as many top Nintendo games as possible).

As Sega has shown by turning into a third-party software developer over time, anything could happen.

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