Nintendo has confirmed that its new hybrid console, the Switch, will not offer any streaming video services when it launches in March.
Nintendo told Kotaku that all of the company’s efforts were going toward making it an “amazing dedicated video game platform,” so streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu will not be available upon release. The company added that support for video-streaming services “is being considered for a future update.”
It’s an interesting sentiment from the company, which offers Netflix on other gaming-specific platforms, like the 3DS and the Wii U. A Nintendo representative told Polygon conversations were still ongoing — including with different companies it could potentially partner up with — and there was “more information to come.”
The Switch will launch as the only major gaming platform in the past two console generations without a Netflix app. Netflix is available on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as the current handhelds, the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita Other streaming apps, like Hulu and HBO Now, are available on some consoles, like the PS4 and Xbox One.
The Switch has a 1280x720, 6.2” multitouch screen, making it bigger than an iPhone. The Switch will be powered by a custom chip based on Nvidia's Tegra processor, which the company also uses in its Shield devices. When plugged into a TV, the console will produce a 1080p image and reportedly runs at a higher performance speed. All of which is a long, drawn-out way of saying there’s no reason an app as small and simple as Netflix couldn’t have been included at launch.
Again, Netflix is available on the Wii U and the 3DS, so it seems unlikely that the issue is licensing, but Nintendo’s comments about working out the details with potential partners could allude to that being the case. A prime example of this is Apple’s new guide app, TV. TV allows users to browse through most of their streaming services and video playback apps without ever having to leave the main menu. Netflix, which has been a primary partner of Apple’s for years, chose to not be included in the new guide app, forcing users to exit and log in through Netflix’s stand-alone app instead.
Nintendo could be facing similar issues with Netflix right now, but the company hasn’t released any information aside from the confirmation that it will not be available at launch.
The Switch will be released on March 3 for $299.