Anime streaming service Crunchyroll is now available on the Nintendo Switch.
Crunchyroll announced this morning that its new app, downloadable on the Switch, will give viewers full access to tens of thousands of anime episodes. The Crunchyroll app has been available for a long time on competing consoles, smart TVs, and other streaming-capable devices. The Switch is notorious for its lack of streaming apps and non-gaming entertainment options compared to Microsoft and Sony’s consoles.
Crunchyroll’s Unreal Engine-powered app joins fellow anime streaming service Funimation, which has been available on the Switch since late 2020. Crunchyroll aims to differentiate itself by becoming the first streaming app to offer offline viewing on the Switch. Though the company does offer a subscription service that removes ads and allows viewers to watch episodes as they premiere in Japan, those without a subscription can still watch episodes with ads.
Even with the addition of Crunchyroll, the Switch’s variety of streaming and entertainment apps doesn’t hold a candle to that of Xbox and PlayStation. Prior to Crunchyroll’s release, Switch players could choose from a paltry five video streaming services: Funimation, Hulu, Twitch, YouTube, and Pokémon TV, which streams episodes of the Pokémon anime. Those who use a Switch as their primary entertainment device can’t access Netflix, YouTube TV, Peacock, HBO, or many other major streaming services.
While the inclusion of Crunchyroll brings some hope for the future of non-gaming entertainment on the Switch, Nintendo has historically focused on games over all else, so don’t expect the console to suddenly become a go-to streaming platform. Unless they’re an anime die-hard, most Switch owners are better off using a different console or a device like a Roku or Chromecast to enjoy movies and TV.
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