Nintendo’s newest game console, the Switch, doesn’t have any video streaming services. No Netflix, no Hulu, no Amazon, and no YouTube. Outside of games, there are no third-party apps on the Switch at all.
That’s about to change for the first time since the Switch launched back in March.
As seen above, the first third-party app headed to the Switch is a Japan-exclusive: NicoNico, a video streaming service that’s very similar to YouTube. When the app launches on July 13, it will be the first example of what services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube will look like on the Switch.
Notoriously, none of those services are even formally announced as coming to the Switch. Nintendo has confirmed that plans exist, but the finest point the company will put on them is, “in time” — as in eventually Nintendo’s Switch, a video game console from the year 2017, will have apps that have run on your phone for years.
In case it wasn’t clear, this isn’t a measure of the Switch not being powerful enough to run streaming video apps. Nintendo of America senior public relations manager Kit Ellis explained the logic behind the absence of streaming apps in an interview with Business Insider earlier this year:
“At launch we are really trying to be clear that this is a gaming device first, so you’re actually not gonna see a lot of that at launch. It doesn’t mean that it’s not going to come later on, but it likely won’t be there at launch.”
And now, in July 2017, we’re four months out from the launch of the Nintendo Switch — it makes sense that NicoNico is arriving right now. That doesn’t mean you should expect Netflix on the Switch any day now, but it appears that Nintendo is opening the door to third-party apps on the Switch.
We’ve asked Nintendo for more information on other third-party apps, but we’ve yet to hear back as of publishing. Check out NicoNico in action right here:
【今夜】Nintendo Switch niconicoリリース！