I don’t want Netflix on my Nintendo Switch

Columns, Featured, Gaming, Nintendo, Switch, Technology, Television, Top story

Netflix on my Nintendo Switch? No, thank you. Don’t need it, don’t want it there.

Or on any other video game system, really.

Recently Hulu became the first streaming video service to offer an app on the Nintendo Switch. That’s kind of a big deal, I guess.

But should that be considered a key performance indicator?

Put another way: Is a video game system unsuccessful if it doesn’t include the full smorgasbord of available OTT/on-demand streaming options?

Of course not. I want my video game system to do what it was designed for: play video games. Nintendo agrees, and the Switch was obviously made with that aim in mind first and foremost.

The Wii and Wii U before it also added streaming video services — at their leisure, and they took a back seat to the games.

You’ll commonly hear people say that their Xbox or PlayStation doubles as a home media player. In my living room, too, that’s our physical movie machine. That makes sense — they can play DVDs and Blu-rays. The Switch, like its predecessors, eschews that ability — in fact, it doesn’t even use optical media such as discs, but has gone back to the mini-cartridge format, similar but not identical to what’s used in the 3DS family of devices.

Once, I used Netflix on our Xbox. I deleted the app from the console when I needed room for — you guessed it! — more games. By then, Comcast had added native Netflix access to their Xfinity hardware, and it worked better than the apps (which, in turn, worked way better than the clunky old apps on our smart Blu-ray machine).

Nobody is buying a Switch to watch movies on it. They already have a Blu-ray/DVD player for that, or a PS4 or PS3, or an Xbox One or 360 — or a Roku, Chromecast or app on their cable box to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video.

It’s good to step back once in a while, look at the landscape, and remind yourself that not every device can, or should, do everything under the sun.

Although … the Switch is technically a portable gaming system, too. Wouldn’t it be handy to watch Netflix on the go?

Oh yeah — my phone already does that, without being tethered to a Wi-Fi network as the Nintendo would be. (And I don’t really use it for that, either.)

Netflix recently said it had no plans to offer its service on the Switch, and then quickly backtracked: “We are still exploring the opportunity with Nintendo, but don’t have definitive plans to share at this time,” the company said.

So it seems that it’s inevitable that Netflix will come to Nintendo’s latest gaming system. For some reason.

But I won’t download it. So there.

Photo courtesy Netflix

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