Call of Duty on Nintendo Switch: What's in store for the iconic franchise on Nintendo's flagship handheld?

Call of Duty
Call of Duty's future with the Nintendo Switch explored (Image via Sportskeeda)

As revealed by CEO of Xbox Games Studios Phil Spencer, Call of Duty is officially coming to the Nintendo platform with a 10-year deal in place. However, this is not the first time the series will be available on Nintendo devices, as major titles such as Call of Duty 4, Black Ops, and Ghosts were previously available to play on the Wii.

The Nintendo Switch is somewhat dated as of 2022. The hybrid (except the Lite) console doesn't come with the most powerful hardware. Hence, most games available for the handheld console aren't the most graphically intense titles.

However, the developers have managed to deliver visually appealing titles such as Witcher 3 on the platform. With the COD series now coming to the Nintendo platforms, fans have been wondering what the experience will be like on the Switch.


History of Call of Duty and Nintendo

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As previously mentioned, this isn't the first time Call of Duty is coming to Nintendo consoles. Major entries into the series such as Black Ops, Ghosts, Modern Warfare 3, and several other titles made their way to the Wii. However, the performance, as well as visual quality, was inferior to its competitors - the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Call of Duty also had exclusive titles made for the portable Nintendo DS. They weren't major titles and delivered sub-optimal results. These include Modern Warfare: Mobilized and Black Ops DS.

The downgrade in terms of performance and visual quality made for a lackluster experience. Players chose to play the game on more powerful consoles at the time. Ever since the launch of PS4 and Xbox One, no Call of Duty games have been announced for Nintendo devices, with the last title being COD: Ghosts.


Nintendo Switch might struggle to play the latest Call of Duty games

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Nintendo Switch was officially released back in 2017. It comes with a Tegra X1 processor, which was already behind its competitors as the chip was from 2015. Nintendo didn't anticipate the console to be the massive hit that it is and simply wanted fans to enjoy their games.

But due to the popularity of the console, numerous current-gen titles were ported to the console, which it handled surprisingly well. These games included Witcher 3, Apex Legends, Overwatch 2, and Doom Eternal, along with some others. Although they come with major compromises, the developers somehow made it possible to run those games on outdated hardware.

While this might seem like good news for COD fans on the Switch, chances are games from the franchise will be receiving massive downgrades. Call of Duty games, apart from narrative and gameplay, come with major technological advancements.

The latest entry, Modern Warfare 2, features some of the best graphics as of 2022, and there's no doubt that this graphical fidelity requires decent hardware to be enjoyed at its fullest.

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It is not surprising that due to all these enhancements, the experience of Modern Warfare 2 on last-gen consoles is sub-optimal. The latest COD title provides the best experience on the current-gen consoles (Xbox Series X/S, PS5) and PCs.

The Nintendo Switch stands no chance against these modern consoles in terms of computing capabilities. As previously mentioned, the Switch comes with a Tegra X1 chip, which is far inferior even compared to the last-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Hence, it is highly unlikely that Modern Warfare 2 will be available on the Switch.

Nintendo consoles have always been behind the Xbox and PlayStation consoles in terms of performance during their respective generations. However, Nintendo makes up for it with its games' unique art style and brilliant narrative complemented by amazing gameplay.

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Breath of the Wild isn't the most technologically sophisticated game, but its art style, gameplay, and storyline make it one of the finest video games ever created.

That being said, there are some possibilities as to how Nintendo might deal with the latest Call of Duty games.


Possibilities of playing Call of Duty games on the Nintendo Switch

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While it remains to be seen if significant Call of Duty games will be directly available on the Switch, there are two ways that Microsoft might make the series available on current-gen Nintendo hardware:

1) Xbox Cloud Gaming

It may so happen that Microsoft could opt for a cloud-based service to deliver the latest COD games to the Switch. Microsoft already has an active cloud gaming service called 'Xbox Cloud Gaming', which has a huge catalog of impressive titles.

2) Downgraded versions of the games

Call of Duty games might be downgraded so that they can run on the Switch. However, the experience will be under par and may not satisfy fans as observed in past instances.

However, neither of these options will be ideal for gamers in general and will take away the experience the series is best known for. Hence, the title arriving on the next-gen Nintendo hardware altogether is highly probable.


Call of Duty coming to Nintendo Switch will be game-changing. However, some fans are skeptical of the move. According to them, the series making its way to the Switch will deliver fans a watered-down experience that simply won't be favorable.

They also believe that the game coming to Switch will hold back advancements in the COD franchise in terms of graphics and tech since the developers will have to produce games keeping the Switch's hardware as a baseline.

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