The proliferation of apps and videos on Xbox and PlayStation consoles really exploded in the 360 and PS3 era. The ability to watch your favorite shows and movies was a major push for those that wanted all-in-one entertainment. These consoles evolved a fair bit since then, and ended up focusing a lot more on gaming. Now, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are a lot closer to a gaming PC than consoles have ever been. With the explosion of popularity for streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix, pickings have slimmed.
But that doesn’t meant that non-gaming entertainment has abandoned consoles. Quite the opposite. The big names in the console market have gotten plenty of notice from big names like Netflix, with dedicated apps being common. But Nintendo feels a bit left out in the cold. Hulu and YouTube have since jumped to Switch, or at least have announced plans to do so at some point. The other major names in streaming are still no-shows. Netflix still has no dedicated Switch app, for example.
Twitch on Nintendo Switch is now a thing, finally. You can now get to the streaming platform right from the Nintendo eShop. The launch of a dedicated streaming app this week offers plenty of options for gamers looking for more entertainment.
The official eShop description for the Twitch app reads:
Watch livestream gaming videos, Esports and any IRL broadcast on your Nintendo Switch device!
Sports are here. Tune into your favorites: basketball, baseball, soccer, football, swimming, wrestling, hockey, pool, and much more through talk shows, league channels, Fantasy, and ESports.
The description also notes that the app utilizes Nielson ratings. These are the traditional ratings numbers you hear for traditional TV. And it’s one of the big ways that networks track user interest. With the proliferation of smarter devices, data harvesting has gotten more complex. It’s likely that metrics beyond simple user numbers. Watch time and habits are likely being collected as well. Twitch and Nintendo will likely use these stats to tell how successful app launches like this are.
The app supports full 720p streams, in both live and archive form. There are some growing pains and missing features, though.
There is no direct streaming of Nintendo games onto Twitch via the app. Microsoft had previously done something similar with Xbox and Mixer, before that streaming service folded. Although with Nintendo being notoriously ill-tempered towards streaming, that’s not a likely feature. One thing that defintely should be there is the ability to use chat. You cannot use or see live chat when watching streams with Twitch on Nintendo Switch.
The workarond for chat via Twitch on Nintendo Switch is to open the chat on your phone, which is just as annoying as the voice chat on NSO. I can’t see many users making that effort. Still, it’s nice to see Nintendo trying to offer more options.