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The media-starved Nintendo Switch just got a YouTube shot in the arm


Joins Hulu and... uh... that's it for Switch video-streaming. Following a wave of rumors, Nintendo confirmed on Thursday that its Nintendo Switch console has added an official YouTube app to its meager selection of media-viewing options. Google's app is now available as a free download on a variety of territories' eShops (including North America and Japan, which we've tested thus far), and its interface largely resembles dedicated YouTube apps on smart TVs and set-top boxes. The primary difference is that the Switch's on-screen keyboard obscures any auto-complete results you might expect while searching for topics. You can attach your YouTube credentials to retrieve viewing histories, check subscription feeds, and receive automatic video recommendations. The app, in our limited testing, held up to visual scrutiny in terms of delivering a clear image and a 60fps refresh when replaying high-detail content like "let's play" videos of modern video games. Proving this via direct screenshots is a bit tricky, however, as the YouTube app forbids use of the Switch's built-in "share" button. Unlike other portable, powerful game systems over the past decade, the Nintendo Switch has a seemingly intentional lack of access to media-watching options. Though the system includes micro-SD support, Switch consoles cannot play back your personal media files, and the Switch eShop only offers one other official video-streaming app: Hulu. Additionally, Switch consoles lack official access to a Web browser for the sake of media watching; a rudimentary browser can be accessed when accessing router log-in interfaces, but guiding this to video sites, which requires jumping through obnoxious hoops, usually leads to error messages.

YouTube arrives on the Nintendo Switch


Nintendo has sold over 22 million Switch consoles since launch, with plans to sell another 20 million this fiscal year. That said, Nintendo hasnt seemed too focused on building out its portfolio of non-gaming apps. Thus far, only Hulu has managed to get aboard the Switch train. But today, YouTube joins the mix. Switch owners can download the YouTube app here. Also of note: the YouTube app on Nintendo Switch supports 360-degree video. Given Nintendos portfolio of Switch-compatible games, including Zelda, Super Mario Odyssey, Pokémon, and Fortnite, YouTubes integration with the console makes sense. Both the Switch and YouTube skew toward younger demographics. Part of the reason that its taken so long for streaming apps to make their way to the Switch is because of Nintendos focus on growing its gaming library for the console. Weve said that other services will come in due time, said Reggie Fils-Aimé, Nintendos chief operations officer, in an interview from last month. For us, we want to make sure that we continue driving the install base for Nintendo Switch, continue to have great games for the platform.