On June 30, Nintendo quietly he pulled the cap off on the Wii U and 3DS Netflix apps. Not only does it mean that anyone who still uses these older consoles to watch Netflix is now screwed, but it also officially means that in the year 2021 there is no way to watch Netflix on a Nintendo device. This would be surprising if it was a company other than Nintendo.
We knew that Netflix on Nintendo consoles wasn’t long for this world. In January this year, Nintendo confirmed that the Netflix apps will stop working June 30th. The month before that, the publisher removed both the 3DS and Wii U Netflix apps from the digital stores of each console. So while this news isn’t surprising, the situation it leaves behind is strange.
In 2021, digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney + are bigger than ever. You can’t spend more than a few weeks without any company that owns a library of old movies and shows announcing that, yes, they are also entering streaming wars. It’s very likely that the bubble for all of this will drop sooner rather than later, but that won’t kill streaming services. Instead it will consolidate power around a few major ones.
Meanwhile, Nintendo isn’t primarily interested in any of this. Of course, it’s true that there are few video apps streaming on Switch, including YouTube and Hulu, but most popular streaming services do not have apps on Nintendo’s hybrid console.
Zack, you might say, who cares? There are about 45,431 different ways to watch Netflix. But chances are more people than you can hope will still use their Nintendo devices for Netflix, so expect it. Plus, I don’t think Nintendo will get the rest of us back in 2021 supporting a few more video apps that would hurt the Switch anyway.
And with noise of a 4K “Switch Pro” spinning like flies on a dead horse, it seems even stranger that Nintendo wouldn’t want to give their customers an option to stay in their ecosystem when they want to watch something Nailed it. I mean, even the PS2 had Netflix, comes on Nintendo.