From the beginning, Nintendo has made it clear that the Switch was intended neither as a tablet nor as a direct competitor to the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One. That makes sense — Nintendo is still a games company, and they’ve long been more concerned with making fun games than with having the most power and the most features. But, if you’re looking for a few more features that you’ve come to expect from a video game console, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé says they’ll come. Someday.
Fils-Aimé did an interview with Hayley Tsukayama of the Washington Post in which he was asked about tablet functions. As before, Fils-Aimé was quick to point out that the Switch is not intended to be a tablet, but said that Nintendo is talking to companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, saying that those services “will come in time.”
Throughout the interview, Fils-Aimé sticks to the message that the Switch is its own device. It seems like Nintendo, probably wisely, doesn’t see itself as trying to compete with anything else on the market. Ultimately, a Nintendo console is a means to play Nintendo games, which Fils-Aimé points out isn’t (and won’t) be available on any other platform (their smartphone apps, which aren’t Nintendo games in the same sense, aside). The implication is that Nintendo isn’t in a rush to offer these services, because you probably already have something you use to access those services anyway. Fils-Aimé sums it up well — “In our view, these are not differentiators.”
Ultimately, Nintendo is thinking the ability to play Zelda on the TV, then continue to play it without interruption as you move to the bus (or bed) will sell enough units on its own. In fairness, they’ve been right so far.