YouTube is launching on the Nintendo Switch today. It becomes just the second major video app to be released on the console since the Switch hit shelves in March 2017. ( Hulu led the way last November.) YouTube can be downloaded for free from the Nintendo eShop. The app is exactly what youd expect, offering access to the platforms endless selection of videos. And YouTube also points out that the Switch version fully supports 360 videos. You can control YouTube with the Switch's left joystick and main buttons. And the touchscreen partially works in handheld mode, which will make searching for videos and tapping into them a lot easier. I say partially because you cant swipe up and down to navigate around the app, which is unfortunate. Hulu still lacks touchscreen support altogether. Oddly, the right JoyCon joystick cannot be used to navigate around the app; it only works for panning around 360-degree videos. YouTube tells me it will continue to evaluate the best ways of using Nintendo's hardware. Switch owners can sign into YouTube with their Google account to get their subscriptions, recommendations, and personal video library. You also have the option to stream your Movies Anywhere library; those titles show up under purchases on YouTube — not that the Switchs display is ideal for extended movie viewing in portable mode. But its a great bonus to have when the console is docked. With Hulu and now YouTube accounted for, the obvious question is... wheres Netflix? Amazon Prime Video? Generally, the list of non-game content on Switch is incredibly thin. Youve got the two free video apps, Korgs $48 music production app (more of a fun toy than creation tool), and thats about it. Hopefully the arrival of a second big player will ramp up the likelihood of other companies bringing their popular services to 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.