Switch gets Twitch: Nintendo console finally gets game streaming app

Nintendo Switch gets support for Twitch streaming app
(Image credit: Nintendo / Amazon)

The world's biggest game streaming service, Twitch, is now finally available on Nintendo Switch consoles, although you'll only be able to view content rather than broadcast it. 

Nintendo of America announced via a tweet that the app can now be downloaded (for free) from the gaming company's online eShop and run from any of its current consoles – Switch OLED, Switch Lite and the standard Switch model.

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While the staple content of Twitch was initially video streams of users playing games, other media like Nintendo Direct announcements, live sports events and even talk shows will be ready to stream on Switch.

Along with the inability to broadcast your own stream, the Switch's implementation of the Twitch app comes with a few other limitations as well. The experience is largely simplified, with a home, browse and search tab comprising the entirety of the interface.

There's also no option to view or interact with the stream chats directly on your Switch, instead you'll need to access them via your smartphone or similar device. Thankfully you're able to scan a QR code from the Switch's Twitch app to quickly navigate to the right stream and chat on your phone.

Similarly, the account and help sections that are typically found in the Twitch app are in the same boat as the chat functionality – you'll need to access them via your phone and can scan a QR code to do so.

Better late than never

While the news of Twitch being added to Nintendo consoles is definitely a sign of progress, it's certainly not groundbreaking when comparing the Switch's limited integration to its rival consoles.

Both Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X consoles launched with support for the app – both in a viewing and streaming capacity – and the PS5 even has a dedicated 'Create' button on its DualSense controller to allow quick access for players to broadcast their stream.

Nintendo isn't renowned for being on the cutting edge (or even close to it) when it comes to supporting existing standards. Only two months ago, the Nintendo Switch got Bluetooth audio, allowing the four-year-old console to finally support wireless headsets. Unfortunately, this implementation was flaky and plagued with latency and sound quality issues.

The console also doesn't support a number of popular apps that are all but ubiquitous on other such devices – Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video are all absent.

Hopefully Nintendo's implementation of Twitch may expand in the future to support the broadcasting of game streams, although given its rather locked down platform and incapability to run multiple games or apps in parallel (a la PS5 and XSX), we're not holding our breath.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.