In January, Nintendo said that “support for video-streaming services is being considered for a future update” on the Nintendo Switch. Now, less than one week after the release of the console, “being considered” has given way to “will come in time,” according to a Washington Post interview with Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime.
We’re talking to a range of companies about other services, companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — things that will come in time. In our view, these are not differentiators. What differentiates us is the way you play with the Nintendo Switch and what you can play. And that will continue to be our focus into the future as we continue driving this platform.
While he’s right that Netflix isn’t a differentiator for a tablet like the Switch, it does put it into the dubious distinction of being one of the only pieces of electronics you own that doesn’t have Netflix on it. In our review of the console, we wrote, “There’s no media player or web browser, let alone any streaming platforms such as Netflix or Hulu. Let’s take a moment for that one. The 3DS has Netflix.”
The idea that the Switch will live and die by its bona fides as a gaming console should be obvious ... but success there shouldn’t mean failure elsewhere. It’s clear that the Switch is coming in hot, with major online functionality delayed until summer or fall, with only one major launch title which, itself, was originally slated for — and still appears on — the company’s previous console.
Answers were hard to come by in the weeks leading up to the release of the Nintendo Switch. The often taciturn Nintendo was content to let reviewers and, in turn, consumers remain confused on major components of the platform, right up until launch. But now that it’s in people’s hands, it’s good to see Nintendo going on the record about its plans to support the console. With early sales numbers looking promising, it’s time for Nintendo to finish what it’s started, and streaming video services on a tablet device is an obvious place to start.