During a PressFire interview with Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson, the executive revealed that although the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft will be cross-play, meaning that those on Switch will be able to play with those on Xbox and PC, all the online functionality will be carried out through Xbox Live. Even on the Nintendo Switch, Märtensson said, players will have to log in to Xbox Live in order to play with their friends online.
That’s pretty unique as well! But everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.
Unfortunately, we do not know whether that means Nintendo’s paid online service will be optional for Minecraft online, or whether a paid subscription to Xbox Live will be required. We will keep you updated as those details are revealed.