Netflix Expands To Nintendo 3DS- Just Without The 3D
Until recently, Netflix and Nintendo didn't have all that much in common. Given that both began with the letter "N", one could imagine the two companies bumping into each another and exchanging pleasantries as they went out to grab the morning paper, but no formal relationship existed between the two tech titans. That all changed in March of last year, when Netflix pioneered a free streaming service for the Wii and this week, it appears that Netflix and Nintendo are ready to take their relationship to the next level.
Nintendo has announced the launch of a free Netflix streaming app for the 3DS available for download today. This app comes at a convenient time for both companies who could frankly use a bit of cheering up these days. Netflix is still struggling with subscriber outrage after anger over the company's poorly announced rate increase roiled across the internet, and Nintendo's 3DS has been languishing with poor sales and unmet projection numbers since its launch- a blight caused, in no small part, by the lack of available titles for the console.
But is this app the good news both companies were waiting for?
Unfortunately for Nintendo, this app falls short in one key area: there is no 3D content available for streaming. That's right, informed technology reader, the streaming app for a handheld gaming console whose primary selling point is glasses-free 3D technology will be launching without any 3D content available to view. One can imagine Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata wincing as he assured customers that this content- like so much the expanded library of 3D titles they have been waiting for- will be coming "soon".
But "soon" may not be timely enough to give the 3DS the edge it needs to keep consumers away from its upcoming rival handheld, Sony's 3G-capable PSP Vita. Nintendo has already acknowledged the fact that the PSP Vita's optional 3G capability will hurt their sales and this is primarily because the 3DS relies solely on wi-fi for communication. As such, the a Nintendo 3DS will only be able to stream Netflix content when it is connected to a wi-fi network- something a consumer's computer, phone, blu ray player, television(s), and eventually PSP Vita can already do. So what incentive will a consumer have to stream Netflix onto their 3DS with so many other, more powerful, options available at their disposal? Without 3D content, the answer is: none.Continued on the next page