Why Hulu wasn't on Switch at launch - Nintendo Everything

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Why Hulu wasn’t on Switch at launch

Posted on November 11, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Julian Eggebrecht is the president of Factor 5. You may not be aware of this, but he’s also the vice president of technology at Hulu.

It was almost a funny coincidence that Eggebrecht appeared on this week’s episode of Nintendo Voice Chat from IGN. He largely talked about Factor 5, but also had a bit to say about the new launch of Hulu on Switch. Hulu just made it to Nintendo’s console on Thursday.

When asked why Hulu didn’t appear on Switch until now, Eggebrecht explained:

“Why not at launch? That was a political decision by Nintendo to a certain degree, but also a technical one because they really wanted to focus on the game-side of things on the one hand, and secondly really were only able to provide the basic technical functionality that you needed to make the greatest games on the new console. So one of the things which was missing until recently was one tiny little bit of encryption that most of the professional video services unfortunately need, and once that was unblocked for us, it was not a problem to get the whole thing going. We had the streaming actually and most of the tech we had done quite awhile ago.”

Eggebrecht clarified that there are certain things which games don’t necessarily need, but a service like Hulu does in terms of digital rights protection. That was on the Switch hardware, but hadn’t been enabled. Eggebrecht also said that the team didn’t tinker with 4K at all because they understood that Switch tends to output in 1080p resolution when docked, and 720p in handheld mode.

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  • GoldenTriforce

    He’s part of Hulu? And hes still running Factor 5? Thats pretty insane actually.

    • Fandangle

      Factor 5 actually shut down and was liquidated after a few misfires with new games and too many deals falling through. It’s currently on life support since they announced they were “back” and haven’t released a game since. Time will tell if they ever do anything.

      • GoldenTriforce

        Yeah I know, I was saying it was a bit crazy that he is starting it up again and still running Hulu. Its gonna be a couple of years until we see anything from them, they literally just started up again.

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  • GoldenTriforce

    But it is capable of 4k 30 for video right?

    • GoldenTriforce

      Not games, I should point out, I mean only media streaming.

    • I don’t think so. I believe the dock can’t output more than 1080p

      • GoldenTriforce

        I don’t have the article link on hand but I remember right before the Switch launched that a bunch of documentation which was for developers leaked, and it said that the Switch was capable of 4k 30 but for video streaming only. That might have been fake, or might not be capable yet but I was wondering if it was true or not. I do know that games are limited by the OS to 1080p 60

        • Jaxon Holden

          It’s “capable” but not enabled.

        • I have the switch and the highest resolution is 1080p. There is no option for “streaming only”

      • ryan rochford

        The tegra chip in the switch can output 4k30. There is nothing preventing USBC from outputting 4k content.

    • nemo37

      Hardware wise the Tegra X1 that powers the Switch supports 4K. If the Shield TV (which is also powered by the Tegra X1) is any indicator, the Switch should be technically able to push out OS UI elements at 4K (like the home menu), output existing games to 4K (although do not expect any games to run natively at 4K), and even stream media at 4K (the X1 had hardware-based HVEC decoders). The fact that Nintendo uses HDMI 1.4 in the system means that at a hardware level it will be limited to pushing out 4K at 30 HZ (which should be good enough for most video content but not for games). However, technically Nintendo can release a Switch revision in the future (like MS did with the XONES) that has HDMI 2.0 support and it should be able to output at output 4K 60 HZ (which is what the Tegra X1 can realistically support; and this is what is supported on the Shield TV).

      Now what I talked about above is what is possible in hardware. Nintendo currently only supports outputting at 1080P on the system, and apps will be limited by that unless Nintendo updates the OS to enable higher resolution apps while docked. In addition, for streaming, Nintendo needs to create the appropriate API that allow video streaming app makers to access the hardware HVEC unit in software. This was a similar situation with the PS4 (Slim) and the original Xbox One in that they were both capable of outputting at 4K 30 HZ but never received the software to allow that (MS added an HDMI 2.0 port to the One S and enabled 4K 60 on the One S, which is a revision of the original One).

      • Marky360

        The benefit of the Switch is Nintendo would only need to replace the Dock in order to get HDMI 2.0 as the Switch unit itself doesn’t have an HDMI port only the dock does. So ppl could just buy a new Dock that supports HDMI 2.0 and get 4K streaming possibilities on the Switch without having to buy a new Switch.

    • DiscoGentleman

      Iirc that guy that’s working on rainsoft (or whatever it was called) also stated it’s capable of 4K for video. I believe you are correct.

      • GoldenTriforce

        You mean the software which mirrors PCs? He probably is right, but I personally am still suspicious of anything he says, since he said Nintendo was fine with the software and I doubt that they actually are.

    • angieazcaban

      It should be as the NVidia Shield basically the same tech and can.

    • venomancer

      4K is pointless it’s a dumb buzz word. I hope Nintendo does not fall for the 4K hype. they should support HDR & 60 fps over 4K when it comes to gaming. the human eye can not see the difference between a 1080p display & a 4K display. you need to have a 50inch or bigger to start to see a difference between 4K & 1080p.
      and if you want to see a major difference between 4K & 1080p you need a 70 inch tv…

  • because nintendo still doesn’t know how the internet works

    • Veati

      I don’t think it is that. Looking to switch’s success and to that comment (‘That was a political decision by Nintendo’), I am starting to think that all the weird decissions made by nintendo (i.e streaming, apps, online, etc.) have a loooooot of reserch on the background and, somehow, they were right.

      • still doesn’t have a web browser

        • h4rr4r

          So? What switch owner really wants that?
          I don’t, I have a phone to browse with.

          • what phone owner needs a switch

          • h4rr4r

            Any of them that want to play games in the go, or while someone else is using the TV in that room, or the ones with kids who only have a few minutes at a time to play, or the one who like games for families.

            You have to remember sad neckbeards in their mother’s basements aren’t the target market.

          • kids have phones?

          • h4rr4r

            In 2017, yeah most of them do.

          • Princess_Eevee9

            Is this a stu-serious question? Babies have their own iPads and other devices long as parents can pawn them off.

          • an ipad isn’t a phone

          • My five year-old has a phone.

          • i’m calling child protective services

          • angieazcaban

            Not all kids, mine won’t have phones until they are teens and I can restrict their access and or have conversations with them about their internet use. With a game system that all kids in a family can access it would require more restrictions or supervision.

          • Sagadego15

            Aka Uncle Phil. The sad neck beard

          • uncle phil’s got a full beard

          • angieazcaban

            Right families with kids are, so what parent wants to give their kid unrestricted internet on their game system?

          • h4rr4r

            Good point, but around here the switch is for the parents.

          • Veati

            I needed a switch.. and look, I also have a phone!

          • John Smith

            Ask anyone who owns a Switch and a phone.

          • Game_God
          • JasonBall

            Me, so I got one.

          • Marky360

            All if them because phones suck lol.

          • Connor The Dreamer

            I do, to look up a quick guide for some games when I’m not able to pull out a phone in school or at my home if it’s charging. There’s no excuse not to have at least a basic one.

          • h4rr4r

            So you can pull out your switch in school but not your phone?

          • Connor The Dreamer

            Considering how I’d have to use data on my phone due to the congested School Wi-fi (which works a lot better when playing switch games online than on my phone), yes. It’s a quick burst thing, and like the 3DS it would come in handy in a pinch. I used the 3DS browser all the time for quick tips if I needed to look up something quick and I wasn’t able to pull my cell phone out (and even before I had a cell phone, which is another good reason for why the switch should have one as not everyone has a phone)

          • h4rr4r

            You should be paying attention in school, not playing on a console or your phone.

          • Connor The Dreamer

            …Ever heard of a thing called Free Time? Something you have in College where there’s long open periods inbetween classes? Gotta do something, and everyone has their own reasons for wanting it. Since the switch already has one that’s barely used to connect to Twitter and Facebook anyway, there’s no good reason not to have it. None.

          • h4rr4r

            School is what highschool kids call it.

            College kids should be getting up to no good.

          • mom alert

          • h4rr4r

            Not quite, but yes I am a grown-up.

          • oh ok so you’re the asian dad meme

          • h4rr4r

            Yeah, expecting kids to pay attention and make the best of the opportunities they have. Truly histories worst monster.

          • your son wants to major in communications

          • it’s the first handheld without a browser since what
            the psp?

          • h4rr4r

            I have a 3ds and have never noticed if that has a browser or not.

          • it does
            even the DS did

          • h4rr4r

            I didn’t say it didn’t. I said I never noticed.

          • i didn’t say you said it didn’t
            i said it does
            so you would know
            because it does

          • Game_God
          • Marky360

            I want that screw a phone why the hell would I want to pull out my dumb phone to surf the web when I am already using my Nintendo Switch. Cell phones suck would rather web surf on a Switch.

          • Eagle367

            I would love a browser

          • Hidden Flare

            Im sorry but I would like a browser. I like using the net and I think it would be nice on the switch, as nice as it is on the wii u.

            Least want a youtube app for playing videos on a decent sized screen on the go.

        • Veati

          That is exactly my point. So far, switch is being a success AND still doesn’t have a web browser. I mean, you have to give some credit for that. I really believe there is a reason for that, even though we can’t really see it.

        • Game_God
    • Aline Piroutek

      Nintendo still noob in internet interaction. At least their games are good.

    • Bruno_Ostara

      The wii u web browser was what allowed the exploits and hacks on the console. Nintendo is probably struggling to make sure that wont happen again

      • you’re proving my point, bro

        • Bruno_Ostara

          Actually that doesnt prove your point. Nintendo knows a bit better then on the wii u era, and know fear how the internet works xD

          • ShonenJump

            Not with webkit they don’t. Sony fixed ps4 webkit big exploit

    • Game_God
      • Sagadego15

        Stop posting pics of Phil’s parents. xd

  • BK-201

    it kinda make sense nintendo wanted the console to be game focused at launch but then again, many people consider video on demand apps a must have these days so why not just have them from start?

    • GoldenTriforce

      This isn’t necessarily a financially-smart reason, but it could have been so that they could (and still can) say “Look at how many systems we sold, just on games”, since many people buy console for Netflix and stuff today. Selling a bunch of systems on games only is very impressive.

      • BK-201

        yeah exactly, i remember lot of people saying they were using their PS4 as a netflix machine back in 2014

        • GoldenTriforce

          Yeah, that was one of the core reasons PS4s sold early on, while it still only had cross-generational multi plats. The Wii didn’t have media functionality at launch, but it did have party games like Wii Sports, and that led to its success. The Switch has only had traditional games, and that is why it is selling. That, from a PR perspective, may give many investors and consumers more confidence in the product, as it is selling because of its core games and not because of gimmicky games or media streaming functionalities.

          • wii was one of the most popular netflix platforms
            it also came out when watching streaming video on a tv was a new thing

            your comparison is way off

            no one bought a $400 ps4 just to watch netflix
            for one, there’s no remote, and to boot, you could get a roku or fire stick for under $100

          • Game_God
          • GoldenTriforce

            Wii was a popular streaming box which was cheap, that did lead to its popularity yes. I am not saying PS4s were purchased solely for streaming, I am saying that multimedia functionality was, and still is, a major reason that sales are/were made for PS4. People bought PS4s because they were getting a system which could play games AND stream mulimedia. Not everyone, but many people. Multimedia sold 10s of millions of PS2s & PS3s, the idea that some of the original PS4s were sold due to multimedia is not that outlandish.

      • wut

    • Jaxon Holden

      I believe it’s because of consumer messaging.

      The Switch is catching fire due to first hand experience. People see others using their Switch and want one. Had apps been on from the start, a lot of people may have watched Netflix instead of play games, and when other people would see them using it they would think it was just a tablet.

      It was absolutely crucial that people understand it was a game system in order for the chain reaction to initiate. Now that the dominoes are falling, they can come in with the apps.

      • KnickKnackMyWack

        It’s so weird how their marketing last gen seemed to be made from monkey poo and this time it’s almost genius level.

    • Aline Piroutek

      You’re right. Remember Xbox One before launch? TV TV TV TV, you can watch TV on Xbox.
      Now we know Xbox can be used to play games.

      • BK-201

        you mean, multiplats

    • Then people wouldn’t be buying Switch for games.
      Nintendo wanted majority of the year one sales because of games.

  • awng782

    Interesting stuff…

  • Mr Ninty

    The only thing, i dont get is why they launched it without a direct of some kind. They could have easily marketed the switch as the best place to watch Neflix on the go for the holidays

    • Tjnswitch

      Yes true that, true dat !

  • Tjnswitch

    going to enjoy some Xfiles on Hulu over the holidays…wonder how much the Internet services will be next year, I wonder if the “integrated” My Nintendo Switch awards will include the option to redeem gold coins for a month or so of free online services. (DREAM ON tjnswitch…I know)

  • Locky Mavo

    IGN’s NVC is awesome, really enjoy this week’s episode. If only Julian with Factor 5 could convince Disney/Lucas to allow that Rogue Squadron Wii port to the Switch.

    • carlos holguin holguin

      Yeah i always watch NVC too, they cover a lot of content

  • Justin McQuillen

    I don’t see any reason why Switch couldn’t output 4K. Like, if you’re running a game that isn’t pushing it’s hardware (like videos), there should be nothing stopping them from upping the resolution.

  • Bruno_Ostara

    Again, everyone forgets that web browser and apps like cruchyroll were used by the hacking scene to exploit the wii u. They are probably holding back to make sure it wont happen again.

    • RoadyMike

      Let’s assume that was the case, all Nintendo is doing by keeping these services off the Switch is prolonging the inevitable. Hacking is gonna happen anyway, exploits are gonna be found regardless

    • Kaliaila

      There were hacked Switches within days of its release. Now the hacks didn’t do anything meaningful for the general end user, but more so gave the people who do that more insight into how the system works. Also, having a browser on the Switch would have been a huge waste of space on something that was at no point intended to be used to surf the web.

      Nintendo isn’t going to force it onto anyone’s system or bother making one themselves for the system. If a 3rd party wanted to design an optional browser for the Switch that people could download from the eShop and was found to be safe and secure to Nintendo’s standards, then I think that Nintendo would have no problem offering it.

  • Saxo2712

    Dont really understand the commotion about streaming being on the switch…At launch or now. I play on the go… I don’t have 4g on my switch…Therefore I cannot use streaming services when I actually use my switch on the go. If I am at home I can just use my ipad, laptop or tv. At least for me, streaming services on the switch are completely non-essential and actually will never be used–especially since you cannot use internet services on the switch without wi-fi.

    • Let say more options have Switch better for general consumer, agreed with you if you have other stuffs (tablets/phones)

    • Or, be me, with a wired-only HDTV, no tablet, and a 720p laptop that pales in comparison to that 1080p TV and sound system.

    • RoadyMike

      Let’s assume that was the case, all Nintendo is doing by keeping these services off the Switch is prolonging the inevitable. Hacking is gonna happen anyway, exploits are gonna be found etc.
      Except by doing so, they’re also holding back the Switch. Everyone below is all “Well I can do all that on muh foon”, but what’s so wrong about having some of the same functionality your phone has on the Switch? Even if it’s just at home

      Why not have a very good portable gaming device where you can also watch Youtube, browse the web, be on facebook/snapchat etc? I’d argue that it would’ve been more appealing at launch, would’ve help sell even more units and give the Switch more use beyond just playing games.

      I don’t see what’d be so wrong with kicking back and watching the latest episode of a favorite show, chatting with friends on social media and looking up news or game strategies after a long session of gaming all on the same device. That’s one of the reasons I still enjoy the Wii U

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      • ShonenJump

        One way is see it from you’re comment is that the Nintendo switch should have those apps and that people would spend time on Nintendo switch that does it all for entertainment. Reggie said it himself. Nintendo is competing with people time. People using a nintendo system for all those things. So having all those apps on switch would be great!

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      Some folks like playing it at home on the TV. Plus when I take mine out with me, generally my destinations have wifi.

    • Turlututu

      Use your smartphone as a hotspot ?

  • Kyle K. Moore

    M E S S A G I N G

  • Gestrid

    Hmm. Now it makes sense why video recording is off by default instead of console-wide: DRM protection.

  • Marky360

    Well either way it’s cool it’s here now wonder what’s up next. I want a web browser either that or YouTube.

  • Makes sense. I’m glad that Nintendo is putting a lot of focus on gaming as they have always been from the start before everything else enters the scene for other audiences.

    • ShonenJump

      I fully understand that and agree with it. But some people thinking that switch is gonna be used for streaming more than gaming. I think its more that you watch a movie or surf the net after you done playing the game or vice versa.