The Nintendo Switch is a great new entry from the beloved Japanese developer. Instead of being just a home console like the PS4 and the Xbox One, the Switch serves as a hybrid gaming device. Thus, you can either play your favorite games at home with a huge TV screen or play outside with friends.
While the Nintendo Switch already excels with critically acclaimed games titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, many users also wish to use it as a streaming advice. After all, the Switch has a 6.2-inch display — larger than most smartphones. Specifically, people want the console to allow Netflix streaming.
Netflix viewing is currently unavailable for the Nintendo Switch, but is there a way to make it happen?
Nintendo and Streaming Services
Before the Switch arrived, Nintendo released the Wii and the Wii U. Aside from serving their primary function as gaming consoles, they also allow streaming services including Netflix and Hulu.
The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a screen through a docking station, so why not utilize this for viewing other forms of media? Not to mention, it has a touchscreen display to efficiently browse through Netflix shows.
Hacking the Nintendo Switch
The initial release of the Nintendo Switch already gave users an indication that web browsing is indeed possible with the device. Nintendo Life noted that a Twitter message will appear if you were to link the Switch to the social network. Apparently, the hybrid console contains a WebKit browser engine.
In particular, this browser engine is known as the NetFront Browser NX. It was built to allow Web browsing on many devices without eating too much memory. Nintendo is fond of the NetFront Browser and has utilized it for older devices like the 3DS, Wii U, and the 2DS. For the Nintendo Switch, some of the NetFront Browser’s main purposes involve the Nintendo eShop and Nintendo Account.
Even if the Switch does have the NetFront Browser NX, it is only being utilized for now to connect accounts. What users want in the future is a browser for viewing any website they want. In accordance, this also means having the ability to browse through online videos that Netflix provides.
Jailbreaking the Console
The good news for Switch users is that hackers were finally able to dig into the Nintendo Switch’s first system module through a WebKit exploit a month after the release. The hacker, known as “plutoo”, is just one of many users who are attempting to understand the inner workings of the Switch, Mic reported. Previously, plutoo succeeded in hacking the Nintendo 3Ds and the Nintendo Wii U.
With such experienced individuals, it is only a matter of time before someone is able to create a mod allowing Netflix streaming and consumer Web browsing. The company does releases patches to fix vulnerabilities, but it’s unlikely they’d be able to catch up with all of the exploits being conducted and continuously improved.
The Future of Netflix on Switch
Last month, Nintendo America Chief Operation Officer Reggie Fils-Aime answered several questions the Washington Post raised. The final query focused on the streaming and Web browsing capabilities of the Switch.
According to Fils-Aime, Nintendo is already having serious discussions with several companies offering streaming services. Aside from mentioning Netflix, he also identified Hulu and Amazon.
In other words, it’s not a matter of if but when. Nintendo acknowledges the public clamoring for Netflix on the Nintendo Switch, but they are still focusing on the gaming aspect of the console for now.
- Nintendo’s previous devices allowed streaming services
- Switch contains a browser engine but is not for consumer Web browsing
- Some users are already attempting to jailbreak the console
- Nintendo is already in talks with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon
Nintendo knows that the Switch has had a good start, but they will surely be adding more features that are already expected on gaming devices. For now, it’s an impressive hybrid console with a great yet limited selection of video games. In the long run, users should be able to officially use Netflix on their Nintendo Switch.