The Internet was abuzz yesterday upon Netflix’s announcement of a new feature, and I’m willing to bet that Nintendo took notice of it.
It’s quite simple, really: you can now download Netflix content to your Apple or Android phone or tablet and watch it on the go without consuming your precious data.
I think that this could be a way for the Big N to attract the casual market unless they find a way to screw it up.
Switch as a tablet alternative
The Switch can act as a sort of tablet, as we saw in its reveal trailer.
And if the rumors are to be believed, it will also feature 10-point multi-touch, just like every iPad and Galaxy Tab on the market, and cost somewhere in the ballpark of 300 USD.
It’s obviously more expensive than entry-level tablets, but I believe that there is a case for the Switch to be used as a sort of all-in-one entertainment centre that can replace a tablet.
The average consumer sees value in having a gaming system that can serve more than one use. The Switch already kind of does that by being a hybrid, but if it can also support offline Netflix on the go, it will be a real steal at 300 $ for various types of consumers.
Parents will love it because they can get little Jimmy’s iPad and Nintendo for 300$ and young adults will love it because they will have state-of-the-art games on the go and a better screen for Netflix on public transit. There are a ton of other possibilities, like businesspeople who travel a lot and may not necessarily want to carry multiple devices on a plane, or even your average casual consumer who’s looking to buy a system for Pokémon and the occasional Netflix session on the go.
It’s not as though people don’t already have tablets and that Switch will be people’s only option for viewing offline Netflix, but it’s something that could sell the system so well in a commercial, if the message is properly communicated.
How Nintendo can screw it up
Well, the first way is by not pressuring Netflix to add this feature to the system, obviously.
Another way would be to make dumb hardware decisions, like shipping the Switch with very little on-board storage. In fact, if the Switch shipped with, say, a 500 GB hard drive, it actually gives consumers more incentive to purchase it for Netflix since phones generally have but a fraction of that space. It could also be used in the marketing (ex: can store over 500 Netflix movies for offline viewing! 300$!).
It could also be that Nintendo doesn’t properly market this feature if it does make it to the system. They have to find a way to communicate the Switch’s value to the public, and offline Netflix will be one of the best ways to do it.
I think that it could truly be one of the system’s killer apps if the price is right.