The Nintendo Switch is a great game console, but unlike the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it doesn’t have a huge range of streaming apps.
In this article, we’ll show you the streaming services you can use on your Nintendo Switch, all of which you can download from the eShop.
The Hulu app is available for free, but you need a subscription to use the Disney service that lets you watch thousands of movies and TV shows. You can add live TV and premium networks such as HBO Max and starz for an additional cost.
The Hulu app for Nintendo Switch is only available in the US, which makes sense since Hulu doesn’t serve other territories. The cheapest Hulu plan costs $6.99/month, which is ad-supported, although Hulu has ad-free plans.
YouTube is available on the Nintendo Switch and is completely free, although it is ad-supported. To remove it, you need a YouTube Premium subscription. If you’ve ever used YouTube on any other console or smart TV, you’re familiar with the app.
You can search for videos, browse your library and interact with the community just like you can when browsing YouTube on a desktop. Unfortunately, one of the main things you can’t do is upload video, either through the YouTube app or through Nintendo’s video sharing feature.
If you’re an anime fan, chances are you’ve heard of Crunchyroll. It’s the ultimate streaming destination for all things anime, with over 1,000 shows in multiple languages, including classics like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and One Piece. You can also stream Crunchyroll Originals, which are shows produced by the company and usually exclusive to the service.
Crunchyroll offers free and paid viewing. There is a fairly large catalog of shows available to stream for free, supported by ads. But if you want to watch new anime, download programs for offline viewing and have no ads, you need to subscribe to Crunchyroll Premium. Plans start at $7.99/month.
Funimation is an anime streaming service available for the Nintendo Switch. You can download Funimation from the eShop in US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and other countries.
You need a Funimation Premium membership to stream on the Switch, which starts at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Conveniently, you can sign in on your Nintendo Switch, so you don’t have to use another device. A 14-day free trial is available if you want to test Funimation Premium before paying.
However, Funimation subscribers should consider switching to Crunchyroll. This is because the two companies united in March 2022 under the Crunchyroll brand. Funimation will probably close eventually.
Pokémon is one of the best-known game franchises to play on Nintendo consoles, so it makes sense for the series to have its own streaming service on the Switch.
Pokémon TV offers a free way to watch the cartoon series. While not every episode is available, there are plenty ranging from the original to the modern series. The app also plays hosts to animated specials and highlights from Pokémon tournaments.
There is also a special section for young people with sing-along songs and nursery rhymes.
Twitch is a live streaming platform that allows anyone to broadcast themselves, usually by playing games. It costs nothing to watch Twitch streams, and you don’t need an account either, although some streamers encourage donations and there are several paid Twitch subscriptions.
Like the desktop experience, the Twitch Switch app lets you find streams by game or genre, and you can watch in seconds. The interface is simple, but works smoothly.
Unfortunately, the app lacks many of Twitch’s key features. For example, there is no built-in chat; instead, you need to scan a QR code on your phone and type it in there. Plus, you can’t stream yourself through the Twitch app. So if you had visions of broadcasting a game of Mario Kart directly through the console, you’re out of luck.
Download streaming apps on Nintendo Switch
To download one of these apps on your Nintendo Switch, go to the console’s home screen and open the Nintendo eShop (the shopping bag icon).
If you do not have an internet connection and/or a Nintendo Account, you will be guided through the installation process. Both are mandatory.
When you’re in, select To search of the navigation on the left. Select the app and then choose Free download. This will take you to a screen called Confirm items to buybut don’t worry, that’s just the generic name for this checkout page.
Press Free download again and the app will download to your Nintendo Switch and will be available from the home screen when you’re done.
Can you get Netflix on Nintendo Switch?
No. At the time of writing, you cannot get Netflix on the Nintendo Switch. In fact, you can’t get many popular streaming services on the Switch, as the console also lacks Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video.
In a 2017 interview with The Washington PostNintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said Nintendo built the Switch to be primarily a “world-class gaming device.” He also stated that Nintendo was in talks with “companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon” and that support for those streaming apps would “come in time”.
Fast-forward many years later and only one of those services that Fils-Aime mentioned is available on the Nintendo Switch.
That said, you can access these apps by installing Android on your Nintendo Switch. This will void your warranty and is recommended for advanced users only.
Play great Nintendo Switch games
As you can see, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have many streaming apps. Let’s hope more will be available soon; if there’s a particular one you want, it’s worth emailing that streaming company to register your interest.
Until then, don’t sleep over the huge selection of great games you can play on the Switch. After all, as Fils-Aime mentioned, the Switch is primarily a gaming device.