GDC 2019: Microsoft will help StudioMDHR bring Cuphead to the Nintendo Switch

StudioMDHR's indie hit Cuphead is coming to the Switch with Xbox Live support.

Microsoft has announced that Cuphead will be ported to the Switch with Xbox Live features, similar to how the platform is available on PC and, much more recently, iOS and Android devices. The Xbox team will begin working the getting Xbox Live features into Cuphead on the Switch “in the coming months,” according to a post on the Xbox blog.

Cuphead will come to the Switch on April 18, but the Xbox Live features will be added in a post-launch update. The impact of Xbox Live integration on the Switch is a positive note for people interested in Xbox Live integration on new consoles.

“We’re super excited this week to start talking to developers about how they can use Xbox Live on platforms other than Xbox and Windows PCs, starting with iOS and Android,” ID@Xbox senior director Chris Charla said in the post. “This has been a big request from players and developers over the years and while we’ve done a lot of work to implement Xbox Live in some of our Xbox Game Studios games on other platforms (such as Microsoft Solitaire and Wordament), and as part of the foundational technology for the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, we’re excited to open up this functionality to more developers soon via easy-to-use SDKs.”

Microsoft said during a Game Developers Conference 2019 keynote that while some Switch games will get Xbox Live support, it’s not yet concerned with bringing the Xbox Live SDK to the Nintendo Switch, according to NDTV. Right now, it’s focus is on the select titles and the Android and iOS support.

It’s clear that Xbox is approaching its next and current generations of consoles as a service provider, rather than purely a hardware and software proprietor. The company is looking to bring the Xbox Live community beyond just consoles as a way to unite gaming communities with “a singular experience,” Microsoft Gaming Cloud corporate vice president Kareem Choudhry told The Verge in a media briefing last week.

“If you’ve watched up for the past few years, we’ve taken a very inclusive approach,” Choudry said. “Phil [Spencer, head of Xbox,] has been very proactive on issues like crossplay, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we’re willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can.”

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Nicole Carpenter is a writer and reporter from Massachusetts.