The Nintendo Switch finally has another streaming service with Crunchyroll, bringing its current total to five (or six, if you’re in the US).
Despite being the perfect platform to support them, the Switch has never fully embraced streaming services like Netflix. It allows YouTube and Twitch apps on its eShop, but even those are cut-down versions of the same apps on other platforms.
This is a surprise, considering the WiiU had Netflix, and I know this because according to my WiiU memories I racked up 420 (nice) hours on it. It was the only machine in the house that would play Netflix on the big screen. Nintendo has never been totally clear on its reservations around streaming apps on the Switch, but that hasn’t stopped people from jailbreaking their consoles and watching it anyway.
Though it seems reluctant to allow live-action streaming services, it seems like Nintendo has welcomed anime in with open arms. The Funimation app was added in early 2021, followed by Pokémon TV (does this count? I think it counts) later that year. Finally, this year, we’ve got one of the other big anime streaming services hitting the Switch in the form of Crunchyroll.
There’s a new way to watch anime ???? Crunchyroll now available on @NintendoAmerica Switch ✨
— Crunchyroll ???? Now on SWITCH! (@Crunchyroll) February 17, 2022
According to the official announcement, the Crunchyroll app on Nintendo Switch will also be offering something the console hasn’t had before: offline viewing. This means viewers with the appropriate subscription level will be able to download videos on Crunchyroll to watch later when they’re not connected to the internet. Pretty neat! Keep an eye on your storage, or maybe pick up a microSD so you don’t run out of room.
The news of Crunchyroll hitting the Nintendo Switch comes after news of Funimation acquiring Crunchyroll last year for $1.15 billion USD. Despite this acquisition, it looks like both streaming services are still functioning as separate services unlike AnimeLab, which will be eventually merging with Funimation after also being acquired by the company.
So far, we now have Crunchyroll, Funimation, YouTube and Pokémon TV available in Australia for streaming. Hulu is also available on Switch but is exclusive to the US, similarly to NicoNico being exclusive to Japan.