Hulu on Switch Is Missing One Big Thing

Nintendo's Switch console can finally stream TV shows and movies, and it works like a charm. There's just one weird catch.

The portable console's first official streaming service is Hulu, which brings not just its own original shows and movie library, and it's Live TV functionality too.

The service is available now from the Nintendo eShop as a free download. Once you sign in, you see the same interface you'd find on a Roku or any other device running Hulu, which starts with the Lineup (the stuff you've shown interest in) and Keep Watching (the programming you've yet to finish).

To find live TV, you'll toggle right to My Channels, which lists your favorites and then a More Networks option to see what else is on. Just don't try and tap any of those menu titles.

Yes, while Hulu moves quite fast on the Switch (as zippy as on say, an iOS device), it's missing touch controls. Yes, even though the Switch itself features a tappable touchscreen, and Hulu's made apps for touchscreen devices before, you'll still need to have Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller connected use the Hulu app.

One devil's advocate in our office claimed that this isn't a big problem, because many will use the Switch tethered to a TV. To them, I say, what about the promise of the Switch, where you can undock the device and walk around using it? How am I going to seamlessly transition to the kitchen or the laundry room to take care of chores without having to stop watching my favorite shows?

In terms of video quality, both live and pre-recorded shows looked about as good as the Switch's 720p screen can enable, which is to say clear, but not as crisp as on a Full HD 1080p screen.

So, while Hulu on the Switch looks as good as it could, it's in need of an update to more fully support the device. Still, until then, it's the only player in town, as we've yet to see apps from Netflix, YouTube TV and every other major streaming service.

Credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom's Guide

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.