This past Thursday, practically out of nowhere, television and streaming platform Hulu released their app for the Nintendo Switch. As far as I am concerned, this could not have come at a better time.
A major part of my job entails traveling to customers’ offices throughout the country, usually for a week at a time but sometimes multiple weeks, to perform installation work on their premises. Being away from home, however, does not mean that I completely lose the urge to play some video games. In fact, they sometimes become desperately-needed distractions during work’s more tedious moments.
For the past few trips, my portable gaming option of choice was the Nintendo Switch—complete with dock and HDMI cable to take advantage of hotel televisions—and it has proven itself to be a vital part of my traveling repertoire. Being able to partake in console gaming experiences under virtually any circumstance, often with multiple potential ways to do so, helped make my weeks abroad more bearable.
However, while it has proven itself to be a brilliant game-playing platform, it has lagged behind its Playstation 4 and Xbox One brethren as a multimedia entertainment platform. You could get your fix of the likes of The Legend of Zelda, but if you wanted to watch a TV show, a movie, or just some YouTube videos? Then you had to look elsewhere for that.
For the vast majority of people most of the time, that perhaps is not so bad of a deal, considering that virtually every other electronic device has streaming apps galore. For those who subscribe to the “Sony/Microsoft console for most games, Nintendo console for Nintendo games” methodology in particular, the Sony/Microsoft console would already have the likes of Netflix and YouTube anyway.
Even if it’s the portability of a tablet that someone is looking for when watching shows or movies, full-on tablets like the various models of iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab are significantly better options than the Nintendo Switch. These scenarios all beg the question of whether the Nintendo console would ever need these things in the first place. Unless the Nintendo Switch was someone’s primary or exclusive game system, streaming apps would conceivably be more like occasional luxuries and curiosities rather than essentials.
For the longest time, that was how I viewed this state of affairs as well. But then I started traveling with my entire Nintendo Switch setup, and my perspective on things changed completely.
Quoth mine self, while in Dallas on Tuesday September 26:
Sometime after getting back to the hotel from work, I get the sudden desire to check out Crunchyroll. One instant afterward, something dawns upon me. Wouldn’t it be awfully nice to be able to use the Switch’s dock to potentially bring it up on the TV screen? With how trivial it was to set up, it’s infuriating to realize that I am literally just a video application away from a convenient portable TV video streaming solution.
I am not constantly in the mood to play video games, especially if I’m recuperating in my hotel from a physically/mentally exhausting workday; that shit gets amplified more than usual while traveling. During those times, I have been far likelier to just watch a bunch of videos. During the past few trips, that was all served by my iPad. It would be way more awesome, however, to have the ability to put it up on the big screen.
Hell, it would be especially awesome if I could have that for my next upcoming travel trip, which starts Sunday November 12 with a flight to Chicago. In other words, a trip that I am embarking on tomorrow.
Hence why Hulu’s recent release on the Nintendo Switch has been such a massive deal to me. Not only do I have the benefit of taking Super Mario Odyssey with me on my travels. Not only does Rocket League release on the Switch next Tuesday, which I am so goddamn looking forward to. In addition to all of that, as of Thursday November 9, my Switch is officially the portable TV video streaming solution that I was pining for, and at a time when I could take genuine advantage of the benefits on offer!
Even better, the cursory glance I’ve given Hulu so far shows that it basically works the same as the PS4 app, and its performance seems to be about as rock solid as on other platforms. Granted, it’s only a single application out of the three to five needed to make a complete streaming suite, but a start is infinitely better than nothing at all. Hopefully more apps continue to follow in its wake.
Part of me wants to apologize for the constant influx of Switch articles I’ve been pumping out lately. However, I hope you also understand that my life has lately been in a hectic place, and that the Nintendo Switch has not just been a big part of said life, but continues to gain more reasons for its stature.