The Nintendo Switch released in 2017, but at launch, a lot of apps, services, and features were missing from Switch. Today, a surprising number of those omissions still aren’t on Switch, but some have come. So, in 2021, is Netflix finally available on Switch? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Netflix is not on Switch. Netflix has apps on PlayStation and Xbox and any number of other platforms, but there currently is not a Netflix app on Switch. There also isn’t an easy workaround to just use a web browser on Switch to stream from Netflix.
Unlike the upcoming Steam Deck from Valve, Switch isn’t designed to support a wide variety of services as they currently exist and work, and like traditional consoles, Switch requires bespoke applications designed specifically for the system.
While Switch has other apps, like YouTube or Hulu, Netflix isn’t there, so we know it’s not any kind of technical hurdle. Switch even supports streaming games, admittedly on a very case-by-case basis, but that’s an exponentially more intensive form of streaming than Netflix.
Why isn’t Netflix on Switch? Likely, this comes down to dollars and cents as well as Nintendo’s long history of trying to control every aspect of their platform while simultaneously not giving gamers many quality-of-life features they have been asking to bring to Switch for years and years.
For almost any other device with either a display or the ability to connect to a display, if it’s reasonably popular, it gets a Netflix app. The PlayStation Vita has a Netflix app, and that’s a portable system that’s much older, much less powerful, and is exponentially less popular than Switch.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to see Netflix’s appearance on Switch as anything but an inevitability. It seems hard to believe the most popular streaming service in the world won’t come to one of the most popular game consoles in history, but if that ever were to be the case, it would happen on a Nintendo console