Why Netflix Isn't On The Nintendo Switch, According To Netflix

The Netflix logo.

It's been a stellar first year for the Nintendo Switch but, still, a few big holes remain in the platform's offerings. Netflix, for example, still isn't available on Nintendo's home console/portable hybrid. According to a recent interview, that's because video has not been a priority for Nintendo during the Switch's first 12 months.

The folks over at Mobile Syrup recently reported on a Q&A session with Netflix's Scott Mirer, who is VP of the company's device partnerships. During that chat, Syrum made it sound like Netflix is on board when it comes to the Switch, though Nintendo is not yet ready to get that particular ball rolling.

In the case of the Switch, they [Nintendo] were very focused at launch not on video-use cases, but on gaming cases, video was not a priority for them. Whether that changes over time, we have a great relationship with them and look at the possibility of the Switch. We each have opportunity cost around that, but at some point, it might happen.

This comes shortly following a January tweet from the official Netflix account stating that the video streaming service was exploring opportunities with Nintendo. This latest comment from Mirer, however, makes it sound like not much progress has been made. He references opportunity costs as being a concern, which we're having a bit of trouble wrapping our minds around. Netflix is on just about every platform known to man, including the 3DS. "Opportunity costs" just seems like a weak concern for such successful companies, especially when something like Netflix on the Switch sounds to us like a guaranteed home run.

At the same time, we can't really blame Nintendo for taking it slow and getting their gaming chickens in a row before they start worrying about too many other bells and whistles. There's no denying that the first year for the Switch has been solid, but the console still needs a lot of work. Top complaints at this point revolve around a lack of console customization, poor organization, a storefront that's lacking some very basic features, as well as a lack of a virtual console.

If we were to take a guess, we imagine Nintendo is simply waiting until this fall, when their for-pay online services go live. When that happens, Nintendo will be earning $20 a year from every Switch owner who wants to use their online features. Streaming videos to Netflix would likely be a part of that ecosystem. It would probably be a bad idea to bring in Netflix now and, a few months later, start charging folks to be able to use the app on the Switch.

In short, once that premium service finally launches for Switch, we expect several of the missing puzzle pieces to finally start falling into place.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.