Why does the Nintendo Switch still not have Netflix? Honestly, this has troubled switch gamers like you and me for a while now as for such popular handheld device not to have Netflix is just crazy honestly. I set it myself to answer exactly this question and see if Nintendo has given any answers.
Nintendo has never given a concrete answer on exactly why the Nintendo Switch still doesn’t have Netflix but likely it comes from Nintendo wanting the Switch to exclusively be a gaming machine, not an entertainment console.
Back in June 2018 at a Q&A panel in Silicon Valley the Netflix Vice President of Device partnerships Scott Mirer simply said ‘video is not a priority for Nintendo’.
I believe Nintendo took a lot of lessons at the failure of the Wii U by focussing strongly on first-party games first and foremost and this was proved by the excellent first-party launch games of Breath Of The Wild & Mario Odyssey being released very early in the Switch’s lifestyle.
Nintendo just doesn’t care much about Netflix’s support as much as it hurts avid fans who would love to use the Switch For Netflix on the go.
However, Scott Mirer did not rule out Netflix compatibility in the near future
“Whether that changes over time, we have a great relationship with them and look at the possibility of the Switch. We each have opportunity cost around that, but at some point, it might happen.Scott Mirer Netflix Vice President of Device partnerships
So ‘might happen’ must not be the most optimistic quote but clearly both Nintendo about Netflix are huge companies and clearly there is mutual interest in having Netflix on the platform. So figures crossed we can get Netflix on the Switch in the near future.
Although the Switch does have other streaming services available and even have Netflix available in the past. Nintendo has a strange history of not complying with the industry norms even when it seems beneficial for them and there are many reasons for this.
What Streaming Services Does The Nintendo Switch Have?
Very strangely out of the dozens and dozens of streaming applications the only two that the Nintendo Switch has access for are Hulu & Youtube
Hulu is a very popular streaming service and is a direct competitor to Netflix. Click here for a complete guide on how to install Hulu for your Nintendo switch and get started in minutes.
Click the video down below to get an easy tutorial on how to download Hulu for your Nintendo Switch
Google has finally released an official Youtube app for the Nintendo switch which is available on the Nintendo eShop for you to download. Unfortunately, even with a Youtube premium subscription, you cannot download videos to watch offline so you need an active wi-fi connection to use the application. This is a big shame as the Switch’s big advantage is its portability and you cannot take advantage of this.
The YouTube app is not optimised for touch display so you must utilise the right Joy-con stick to navigate the Youtube menu’s rather than swiping the display itself which is a big shame.
Look at the video below to see a tour guide of the Switch so you can more easily navigate the menus
Does The Nintendo Switch Have The Capability Of Streaming Netflix?
Without a doubt, the Nintendo Switch possess the graphical power to stream Netflix, whilst docked the Nintendo Switch runs at 720p resolution with up to 60 frames per second depending on the game being played. This increases to 1080p resolution whilst docked in a TV running up to 60 frames per second. Standard HD has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels known as 720p, so even whilst docked the Switch is capable of running Netflix in HD.
With the Nintendo Switch supporting both Hulu & Youtube support at HD clearly the Nintendo Switch has the graphical power to support Netflix and there is absolutely no reason why porting Netflix over to the Nintendo Switch would be difficult;.
The reason behind why it isn’t supported is more an issue with the company itself rather than computing power complications. However, Nintendo has had Netflix support for quite a while with older consoles.
Nintendo’s History With Netflix
Nintendo Switch did, in fact, have several consoles that were fully compatible with Netflix and these were the last 2 consoles in the generation the Nintendo WII and the Nintendo WII U; which makes it even stranger that Nintendo wouldn’t offer compatibility with Netflix straight when the console released in 2017.
Unfortunately, Nintendo suspended all the Wii’s streaming services back in January 30th 2019, here is a quote from the official Netflix website
“Unfortunately, Nintendo will suspend all video streaming services on Wii – including the Netflix Channel – after January 30, 2019 “
Nintendo Wii U
Fortunately, arguably Nintendo’s biggest recent failure the Nintendo Wii U still has full Netflix support as of writing and honestly I believe the marketing disaster that was the Nintendo Wii U is a BIG reason why till this day the Nintendo Switch still doesn’t have Netflix support which I will discuss later in this blog post. To think that a console released 6 years before the Switch still has more functionality than it’s younger brother is strange but it’s perfectly Nintendo.
Click The Video Below For A Full Tutorial To Watching Netflix On The Wii U
Just Why Is Nintendo Not Taking Video Streaming Seriously?
In an era of media players and streaming devices being available everywhere in your living room which was just unthinkable 8 years ago. Everything from your smart TV the phone in your pocket, your tablet and perhaps in the near distance future your fridge can stream high-quality HD+ video in a matter of seconds. There are NUMEROUS streaming services from Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, HBO Now, ESPN, Spotify etc and Nintendo does not seem to care. Would they benefit financially from taking aboard all of these services? Of course, they would! However, Nintendo values something more integral to their values.
What is it?
It’s their games simple as.
Nintendo games are the most important asset the company has, the only way to play a Mario, Zelda Super smash or Metroid game is played them on a Nintendo console. People buy and continue to buy a Switch JUST for its the capability to play an exclusive I, know this myself as the only reason I bought a switch whilst living in China was that super smash bros ultimate came out! This is proven by Nintendo games barely dropping in price as I write Breath of The World Is STILL $50 on Amazon and it’s a 2-year-old game! When you see the Nintendo certificate standard you know your paying for quality and this is reflected by Nintendo’s attitude towards NetFlix.
So why does the Nintendo Switch still not have Netflix? Because Nintendo simply does not care as you purchase a Nintendo console because you WANT to play an exclusive Nintendo game not stream your favourite NetFlix show or listen to Spotify.
Obviously the choice is intentional as Nintendo know what there doing, the choice allows them to retain artistic integrity with the console as it isn’t trying to compete with the tablet or the more traditional home entertainment console market like the Xbox One or Playstation 4.
Nintendo learned from the failure of the Wii U as despite other marketing failures (such as the name) the console launched with a very poor lineup of exclusives.
Nintendo understood this and tried to get Mario to join Link as soon as possible after the Switches launch. Nintendo as a gaming company has focused solely on gradually improving its library of great quality games, and treating this as a priority above all else Netflix included.
Whilst I genuinely think it’s frustrating how the Switch still doesn’t have Netflix compatibility with its very nature of being a portable device would make it an ideal candidate for a Netflix port.
I can also understand Nintendo’s hardline stance on games being it’s absolute priority and straying from the set path always draws criticism from people who do not understand it.