Hulu's about to become just a little more ubiquitous. The company announced that its streaming service will soon debut on the Nintendo Switch, which unlike the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, was released as a straightforward game console instead of a full-blown multimedia device.
Its lack of non-gaming capabilities was one of the primary complaints levied against the Switch at launch. Modern consoles are expected to do more than just play games—Nintendo's competition outfitted their devices with Blu-ray players, app support, and other features, which made the Switch's exclusive focus on gaming seem quaint. Hulu's arrival, however, could be a sign that the Switch will finally start to play catch-up.
In a blog post (opens in new tab), Hulu said that its Switch app will support its standard service as well as the Hulu with Live TV offering that debuted in May. The company didn't answer critical questions about the app, though, such as what resolutions will be supported. The Switch's display is 720p, but it can output up to 1080p docked. We assume Hulu will stream at those resolutions (if the Switch's internet connection supports it) but don't know for sure.
Either way, the Switch app will pale in comparison to its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One counterparts, which support higher resolutions (up to 4K) and HDR. But that argument might not matter to many Switch owners, and it discounts the console's portability. People don't buy Nintendo's latest console because they want a powerhouse; they buy it because they want to play Nintendo games and because its dual nature appeals to them.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Hulu expanding to the Switch is that it paves the way for other apps to follow suit. Netflix would be an obvious addition—that's another almost ubiquitous service—as would other streaming services like Twitch and YouTube. From there, most are probably hoping that Nintendo will finally bring the Virtual Console to the switch as an app. The Switch isn't just for Switch games anymore, and that's big.