Nintendo Switch

Why The Nintendo Switch’s Lack Of A Netflix App Is A Major Oversight

The Nintendo Switch is already drawing plenty of criticism for its lack of software available on launch day (only five games have been confirmed to available for the Switch on March 3rd), but it turns out that you won’t be able to turn to Netflix when you run out of games to play, as the Switch will not have much in the way of multimedia functionality on launch day.

As reported by Business Insider, Nintendo’s Kit Ellis has confirmed that there will be no Netflix app or ostensibly any other streaming app such as Hulu on the Switch, at least not right away. Ellis claims that the reason behind this decision boils down to Nintendo viewing the Switch as a dedicated gaming machine, so multimedia capabilities are taking a backseat for the time being.

This decision just seems … odd, to say the least. Although HD penetration has certainly increased dramatically since the Wii’s launch in 2006, people used Netflix more on that console than they did on either the PS3 or Xbox 360, which seems like a statistic Nintendo shouldn’t be ignoring. Seriously, how difficult is it to throw Netflix and a few other apps on the Switch at launch? The fact that the system is portable means that it could have turned into the device of choice for many people who use streaming services like Netflix, as there would be no real need to port a tablet around too if the Switch shared most of the same important functions.

Instead, it seems like Nintendo is just turning a blind eye to the smartphone and tablet market. Whether they want to admit it or not, the Switch is very much in competition with these devices, as consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to do everything on the same device. Of course, I’m not saying that the Switch could replace your smartphone or anything, but the more features the system lacks, the more reasons people will have to just leave it at home if they’re travelling somewhere. After all, it’s not like the market for dedicated handheld gaming devices is exactly flourishing these days …

To be honest, I think this is yet another sign that Nintendo is rushing the Switch to market, as they not only have embarrassingly few games ready to go, but can’t even be bothered to put Netflix — pretty much a standard app on everything these days — on the console. Couple that with the fact that we still barely know what the Swtich’s user interface looks like and there is plenty of reason to be skeptical about what Nintendo’s new console will deliver to consumers besides Zelda, a game that they could also pick up on the Wii U.

(Source: Business Insider)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)