During in E3 it was confirmed that cross-platform play for Minecraft is coming to most platforms (just not the Playstation). Meaning players who pick the game up on the Nintendo Switch can play with people on the Xbox or PC. But, Phil Spencer has confirmed that players of the Switch version will have to sign into a Xbox Live account in order to play with these platforms.
The head of Xbox confirmed this during a E3 2017 Live Show with Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb. When he questioned Phil Spencer on the cross-platform play and how people will be logging in, he said;
“It’s an Xbox Live account; that’s our gaming social network”
Phile Spencer then added;
“We use Xbox Live as the way to make sure we know who our players are, controls around parental controls and other things that we put into our platform are there. And as you’re buying things in Minecraft, you want to make sure you have them available on other platforms, so we have to know who you are. If you have a realm that you’ve created on the PC and you want to get to it on the Switch, we have to have an identity system and we just use Xbox Live.”