Nintendo Switch won’t have Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, or any other standard streaming services at launch. This might be a disappointing revelation for gamers hoping that Nintendo’s latest console will be the next one to become a central entertainment hub.
Ever since the original Xbox and PlayStation, there has been a push for video game consoles to also play other forms of media. Starting with the PlayStation, Sony decided to give gamers the chance to use the console to listen to CDs. Xbox outdid that move with the ability to rip music to its internal hard drive, which probably raised a lot of piracy questions. These questions were answered when the Xbox 360 stopped allowing music to be copied, in exchange for backwards compatibility.
With the PlayStation 2 and successive consoles, more media formats were supported, though PS4 stopped the trend, with Sony refusing to give the PS4 Pro 4K Blu-Ray support. This decision likely started a boost in sales for the Xbox One S. Of course, most movies are now available in digital format for consumers who don’t want to get out of their chair and simply place a disc in the machine. This has led to a new trend in paid streaming services, a trend which YouTube Red has been aimed at taking advantage of.
You may have noticed that one console manufacturer has never given in to the trend of playing mainstream media. Nintendo has never played CDs, DVDs, or any disc-based or streaming media, always focusing on video games, a decision which ironically led to the creation of the PlayStation. This doesn’t appear to be changing with the Switch.
However, with the introduction of Switch’s paid subscription-based service in Fall 2017, Nintendo could easily change their minds. For now, you’ll have to settle for using your PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Smart TV, smartphone … nearly everything with a signal lets you watch Netflix and YouTube now. Gamers who have been anticipating the Nintendo Switch could easily demand Netflix streaming to be added since they’re likely to be paying for multiplayer online service.
It may be considered the new standard for paid subscriptions since PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both let you stream movies and TV without a paywall. Xbox 360 used to lock YouTube behind said paywall, but a firmware update changed that.
For gamers who might demand streaming services on the Switch, they might consider the fact that the resolution is maximized at 720p, which is actually lower than some Xbox 360 games. The loss in resolution will lead to more pixellated visuals, or a “blurry” look. To put it simply, The Flash and videos by Smosh are likely to look less sharp than you’re used to on a big screen. Chances are very likely, with mainstream technology getting less expensive, that you already own a Smart TV with Netflix and YouTube apps built in, and all you have to do is sign in via WiFi.
Nintendo sent a statement to the press that they might consider adding streaming services after the console launches, according to Tech Radar.
“All of our efforts have gone toward making the Nintendo Switch system an amazing dedicated video game platform, so it will not support any video-streaming services at launch. However, support for video-streaming services is being considered for a future update.”
The video game console manufacturer says that they are looking into ways to save video footage for sharing on social media, which could mean YouTube, at least, is heading to the Switch if they decide to add video sharing. It also gives gamers more incentive to invest in 2TB MicroSDXC cards to expand internal memory.
Said future update could be right around the time they start charging for the subscription service, to avoid public backlash. Further concerns include the return of Mii avatars, made famous on the Wii and Wii U, as well as the possibility of indie titles and backward compatibility. Nintendo told Kotaku that as far as transferring accounts from the 3DS and Wii U, they have “nothing to announce at this time,” and older games will not be playable on the Switch.
As a response to the question about the continuation of the Virtual Console, the same answer was given. With the release of the NES Classic Edition and its SNES follow-up, we might not need the Virtual Console once the scalpers are done ruining everything.
What do you think of these latest facts revealed about the Nintendo Switch?
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