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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Netflix Marries Nintendo (Review)

Nintendo recently announced the release of an official Netflix application for the companies newest handheld device, the 3DS. The new feature is available to users in North America and Canada only and will allow users of the popular movie streaming service to watch items on their system so long as they have an unlimited streaming account. One can download Netflix by way of the Nintendo eShop for free and once downloaded, activating the device for streaming is as simple as opening up the program, logging in to Netflix on your computer, and typing in the code shown on the portable. Once activated you are brought to a screen that holds your instant queue and other selection menus which remind me a lot of the Wii version. Overall the look is a lot like the Wii version in fact and the only main differences being the portable factor and a touch screen rather than movement tracking. You can search for movies and add them to your queue as well as watching them right from the devices top screen.

Watching movies and shows on the device is honestly not that wonderful in my opinion, especially with all the other options out there. Sound quality is pretty iffy on the small speakers and loading times take fairly long compared to all my other devices including Android phones and an Xbox. I do feel this could be a good solution for certain people who may be on long trips, as it is one of the more portable devices that is not a phone. Children will surely make use of the added functionality as well but in my opinion it is nothing more than a gimmick for Nintendo to sell more units. There is one thing that would certainly change my opinion though and that is if Netflix would add a special 3D viewing option for applicable titles that would make use of the systems glasses free 3D technology. Such an option would certainly make this implementation stand out from the other onslaught of Netflix ready devices. I cannot complain to much as the application is free and not entirely terrible. The one thing I would prefer to see though is Nintendo giving some form of Webcam functionality to the device compatible with Skype or another service.

(update) I wanted to quickly talk about battery life after using the app for awhile. After watching a 1 hour 30 minute movie on medium screen brightness my battery had dropped 1 bar. Based on this I estimate you'll get in around 4 average length movies before your device becomes a useless brick.
What do you think about Netflix on the 3DS. Good idea or would you prefer Skype? Leave your comments in the section below, I can't wait to see what you guys think, and of course, have a good day.

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