Less than a week after its launch on March 3, the Nintendo Switch does exactly one thing: Play video games. In an interview with The Washington Post, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé explained why the Switch doesn’t currently have Netflix and other streaming and nongaming apps, and hinted that they might arrive in the future.
“What I would say is this: We built the Nintendo Switch to be a world-class gaming device, meaning we want you first and foremost to play games on the system and have an incredibly fun experience,” Fils-Aimé said. “We’re talking to a range of companies about other services, companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — things that will come in time. 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.”
When Fils-Aimé says that Netflix et al are “not differentiators” he’s no doubt referring to the fact that Switch owners likely have other devices that already have those services on them. Switch owners might have watched Netflix on the system, but nobody would buy the Switch primarily because it has Netflix on it.
It is enlightening to learn, though, that services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu might launch Switch apps in the future.
The interview also touched on some other big Switch questions, including whether Nintendo will be able to consistently release new games on the platform and avoid the content droughts that plagued the Wii U.
“When you think about a new platform, what will define it as a long-term success are the ongoing range of games and experiences that come to the platform — not what’s available on Day 1,” Fils-Aimé said. “For the Nintendo Switch, we were very deliberate in wanting to make sure, from a Nintendo publish standpoint, that we had a steady cadence of great games in addition to strong titles at launch.”
Talk is just that, and hopefully Nintendo can deliver on that goal.