The Funimation streaming service is getting an app on Nintendo Switch, bringing a dedicated anime platform to the bestselling console for the first time.
The Nintendo Switch isn't exactly known for having a full line-up of streaming apps, with only YouTube and Hulu (in the US) previously arriving on the hardware – and the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney Plus still nowhere to be seen.
However, it certainly marks a step in the right direction, and we're told that the Funimation anime streaming service will be coming to a host of territories, launching first in the US and Canada on December 15, and the UK, Ireland, and Mexico set to get it soon after.
You’ll never put it down again. Anime arrives on the Nintendo Switch for the very first time via the refreshing new look of the Funimation App. Coming tomorrow! @NintendoAmerica Read on: https://t.co/TetOe3OP18 pic.twitter.com/x5rC5b0Wm1December 14, 2020
The news was announced via Twitter, and you can see the anime streaming app's layout in action in the trailer above.
Funimation confirms in the tweet's comments that "the design will roll out to more apps in the coming months", meaning the sleek interface on show could come to smart TV apps and gaming consoles soon as well.
Of course, you'll still need a Funimation subscription to use the app – at a reasonable $5.99 / £4.99 / AU$5.99 a month – but for anime lovers wanting to jump between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Attack on Titan season 4 on a single screen, this is the way to do it,
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Wait, what is Funimation?
Funimation is a leading anime streaming platform with a massive catalogue of anime series, from Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail to Yuri!!! On ICE and Dragon Ball. As a large distributor of dubbed anime (when voice acting is redone in English) rather than subbed (original voice acting, with subtitles), Funimation has its place in a growing anime market.
However, it's interesting that Nintendo didn't opt for Crunchyroll in this case, given the service's far larger library (about twice the size of Funimation), slate of original content, and dominance in subtitled anime streaming.
Now that Sony has acquired Crunchyroll – and already owns Funimation – it'll be interesting to see if there's some merging of services down the line, or Crunchyroll eventually arrives on Nintendo Switch as a partner app.
For now, though, it's hard not to be frustrated with the paucity of non-gaming applications on the Switch. While YouTube was one of the first, and Hulu came to US users not long after, there's little else besides the InkyPen manga app worth checking out. A carefully curated catalogue that doesn't overshadow the best Nintendo Switch games is one thing; Nintendo dragging its feet with app support is another.
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Via Nintendo Life (opens in new tab)