The Nintendo Switch is getting an official YouTube app starting today.
By adding support for YouTube, the number of streaming video services on the Switch now stands at three, following the Japan-only NicoNico app, which arrived shortly after the Switch’s release, and the US-exclusive Hulu app that launched on the Switch almost exactly a year ago today. However, the YouTube app marks the first time users in the UK will be able to enjoy one of these streaming services.
For many Switch owners, support for YouTube is a somewhat promising sign that one day, the Switch may become more of a multi-purpose tablet rather than pure gaming machine. However, if that’s going to happen in any sort of meaningful way, the Switch is going to need to add more than one streaming video service a year.
Many of YouTube’s features are available on the Switch, including the ability to watch 360-degree videos. However, the implementation of those features seems a bit wonky. Currently, you can only really use the Switch’s touchscreen to select a video and scrub forwards and backwards using the timeline at the bottom, but if you want to navigate YouTube’s main interface, you’ll have to rely on the system’s buttons and joysticks.
You can also use the Switch YouTube app to stream purchased titles from your Movies Anywhere library or videos from a saved playlist. However, it seems that even for YouTube Premium subscribers, there’s no ability to download videos for offline viewing.
But still, it’s a start. Now we just need Netflix, Amazon Video, and a few others (along with offline viewing), and the Switch really will be the perfect gadget for making plane trips fly by.