Nintendo quits consoles without Netflix after killing Wii U and 3DS apps
While apparently every device with a screen adds more streaming apps, Nintendo is going in the opposite direction by ditching Netflix.
A sign that the consoles are sinking deeper into the dark, Nintendo quietly ended support for Netflix on two older platforms, the 3DS and the Wii U, leaving the company without any support for the streaming service. A Netflix app has yet to be announced for the Switch, although this console is four years into its lifecycle.
Plans to discontinue the Netflix 3DS and Wii U apps were first announced in January 2021. In practice, both devices were already out of favor with most customers – production of the Wii U was halted in January 2017 and all versions of the 3DS were discontinued by September 2020. The Switch has made these products obsolete, not only in terms of performance, but by serving as both a portable and a living room system. It’s now the company’s only proprietary hardware platform, setting aside its growing support for smartphones and tablets.
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3DS and Wii U support officially ended on June 30, according to a Nintendo support document. The app was removed from the devices eShop on December 31, but continued to work for Netflix subscribers, likely to ease the transition. All 3DS models are affected by the termination, one of which is the 2DS fallout which removed stereoscopic 3D effects. These effects were rarely used in games and did not achieve compatibility with video services, which probably should have customized content for 3DS.
Nintendo’s situation contrasts directly with Microsoft and Sony, who not only have Netflix, but have added as many streaming apps as possible, such as Disney + and HBO Max. This even includes live TV replacements like Sling TV and YouTube TV. The Switch offers Hulu and the standard version of YouTube, but omissions like Netflix mean many owners are likely dependent on third-party devices like Chromecasts and Apple TVs.
Nintendo has sometimes been criticized for its narrow focus on games. It was slow to adopt the Internet on its consoles, not incorporating the technology until the Wii in 2006. Even then, the company sometimes made the services difficult to use, for example by relying on user codes. friend to connect with other players. There is no sign that Netflix or other streaming services will arrive with a “Switch Pro” console by 2022 – they might eventually be needed, however, to persuade audiences to stick with it. Nintendo as a platform. A console like the Xbox Series X can function effectively as an all-in-one entertainment device, handling games, video, and music.
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