The Nintendo Switch is infamous for its lack of media apps thus far, but after a sort-of leak hinting at a YouTube app, the video service was officially released for the console. The app was stealthily released with little fanfare, and is available for download with a file size of 93.32 MB.
Through the app, users can watch the same videos, movies, livestreams, and everything else that YouTube has to offer. The app resembles YouTube applications on other television devices, like consoles and smart TVs, but also offers touchscreen support in handheld mode. From my initial use of the app, touch controls seem to be limited to just selecting buttons, with no ability to scroll through touch.
This release comes almost a year to the day when Hulu was released for the Switch, and while I don’t believe its likely, the conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that other media apps have not come to te platform yet because of some absurd one-year exclusivity deal.
There’s a lot of back-and-forth PR speak about why Netflix and the like haven’t arrived yet, with Nintendo saying that they want the Switch to be game-focused, mentioning that those services are available on other devices, and it’s ultimately up to those companies whether or not they want their apps on the Switch. Meanwhile, Hulu states that their app came so late because of a key piece of encryption that Nintendo withheld for some time (via Nintendo Everything).
Personally, I doubt I’ll be using this app—I’ve never made use of YouTube apps on smart TVs or consoles, preferring to watch content on my laptop, phone, and tablet instead. I could consider using Netflix, HBO Go, or any other TV and movie streaming service on my Switch, but I find my set-up of my television with Chromecast built-in to be far more convenient.
If you’re one of the people who has long-awaited for more video apps to come to the Switch, you can download YouTube for free. Meanwhile, Nintendo of America will have demo stations in select shopping centers, just in time for the holidays.
Kick back and relax with @YouTube on your #NintendoSwitch. Enjoy entertainment like music videos and shows, plus gaming livestreams, how-to guides and much more. YouTube is now available to download from Nintendo #eShop.
— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) November 8, 2018