If you're wishing that your Nintendo Switch was a little bit more like your iPad or Galaxy tablet, we have some good news for you. Apparently services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video will be coming to the Switch... some time. This, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with The Washington Post (via The Verge):
“We’re talking to a range of companies about other services, companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — things that will come in time,” Fils-Aime stated. “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.”
Now it's time for a hot take. I completely agree with Reggie that services such as these are not differentiators. We heard long ago that the Switch would be launching without Netflix and what we consider basic tablet functions like an internet browser. I've always been okay with that, and I'm okay with that now.
Nintendo did not set out to create an all-purpose tablet to replace your iPad or Amazon Fire. You may think that it's important for the Switch to be able to do that, but it's really not (in my humble opinion). It all comes down to branding. Nintendo is selling the Switch as a home console that you can take on the go. Whether you agree or disagree with that approach is moot - the Switch, according to Nintendo, is a console. In order to promote the Switch as a console, Nintendo isn't doing itself any favors setting it side-by-side with your iPad out of the box, running Netflix and allowing you to FaceTime your boyfriend or girlfriend.
On one hand we have people exclaiming, "But you can't be too functional! Why would you want to limit the type of programs that can run on the Switch?" There are many reasons, and some of them are purely practical. The Nintendo Switch operating system is minimal, but it's also lightning fast and extremely functional. When you suspend a game to go back to the home menu, that menu boots instantly.
There's no waiting for the home menu, and there's no waiting in the home menu. Navigating between sections is seamless, and that's much more than we can say for the Xbox One or PS4. I'm glad that Nintendo decided not to bloat the OS and internal memory with a dozen apps that you can literally run on every single device you already own.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad Netflix will eventually be coming to the Switch. I watch Netflix all the time - I don't think I'll be watching it on the Switch often, but it's nice to have that option. In the meantime, you still have your smartphone, tablet, smart TV, latptop, and computer to watch Netflix whenever you want.