Netflix App on 3DS: It Really Works!

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Netflix App on 3DS: It Really Works!

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After intense testing at The Escapist Magazine bunker, the Netflix application for Nintendo's new handheld gets five stars.

Today, Nintendo released an update for its 3D handheld system that included the ability to download a free application from Netflix. The app lets you hook your Netflix account to your 3DS, and, if you have unlimited streaming enabled, you'll be able to watch any movie or TV show that is in the Watch Instantly library on your handheld (not-just) gaming device. With a wireless internet connection, a comfortable chair, and a sandwich, you'll be able to watch movies on your 3DS without being tethered to a power cable.

Setting the app up thankfully doesn't take too long. First, you have to download the update from Nintendo, which proved the most difficult part of the process because the option is buried in the Settings tab. Once that's done, you have to go into the Nintendo eShop to download the Netflix app. Open that up, and you are prompted to enter some location information and finally given a code. Take that code to an internet browser on another device to access your Netflix account, and once you enter it in the 3DS should link itself up nicely.

The upside here is that you don't have to constantly enter your username and password each time to log in but the downside is that it's a little tough to switch Netflix accounts - which is only important if you share the 3DS amongst, say, an office full of game journalists. But that task can still can be achieved by deactivating all devices from your Netflix account from the web page, shutting down your 3DS and then restarting the app. You'll be prompted to enter another unique code on the web to reconnect the device to an account, but at least you won't get slapped upside the head for filling your boss's Instant Queue with Conan the Destroyer and Enemy Mine.

The picture is great quality - for such a small screen. Older TV shows like the British Office looked about as good as you can imagine, but even special effects-laden blockbusters like the 2009 Star Trek revamp were rendered fantastically. I was a bit disappointed that I had to watch that film in letterbox, with two black bars on the top and bottom, but it didn't matter when I was staring longingly at that green chick's backside.

Keep in mind, the 3DS must be connected to a wireless internet connection for the app to work, but if you are bored at your Aunt Sheila's house and the router you helped set up for her is just collecting dust, there's no reason you can't kick back and catch up on Doctor Who episodes.

The user interface for the application looks similar to what you see when you access Netflix on the Xbox 360 or PS3, except that the menu options are rendered in 3D on the top screen. I found the menus popping out at you a nice touch, but they can always be turned down or off with the 3D slider. Another neat thing - when you want to zoom through a scene by fast forwarding, the frames pop across the screen on a different layer than the film beneath. The effect isn't quite Minority Report, but it was cool nonetheless.

The big question for everyone was whether watching movies was going eat up the much-maligned battery life of the 3DS system. Well, I can definitively say that such concerns were completely unfounded. I played through the entirety of the aforementioned Star Trek (all 2 hours 4 minutes of it plus credits) and the battery indicator is sitting at 3/4 full. With that kind of performance, it looks like watching movies through the Netflix app squeezes even more battery life from the device than just playing games.

The additional feature of being able to play movies anywhere you take your 3DS came just in time for me. I'm heading out for a week to visit my wife's family in Florida soon - so you know that I'll get more than money's worth watching whatever I can on my tiny screen just so I don't have to socialize with Aunt Sheila.

Thanks Nintendo and Netflix for not making me talk to my inlaws!

Permalink

If I get a 3DS this will get heavy use.

In the bathroom...

And it's not-so-much "IF" as "when", really.

Nintendo yells "Pokemon!!!!"...I jump.

I'm confused as to why this is any more special than Netflix on a Droid or iPod.

SuperMse:
I'm confused as to why this is any more special than Netflix on a Droid or iPod.

I was going to say because you can't play OoT/New Kid Icarus/Star Fox 64 etc on them, but with illegal activities these days...

OT: Sweet, however this isn't available in Europe, is it...

Awww...

Personally, why would anyone want this? No doubt if the user had a 3DS and a decent internet connection you would most certainty have a decent sized monitor nearby. On the travel viewing is just...not smart for obvious reasons.

mad825:
Personally, why would anyone want this? No doubt if the user had a 3DS and a decent internet connection you would most certainty have a decent sized monitor nearby. On the travel viewing is just...not smart for obvious reasons.

i guess if yer waiting in an airport or something, and happen to find a wifi connection, it could be a useful time killer. really depends on the situation, but it certainly isn't a selling point for the thing unless you travel a lot.

SuperMse:
I'm confused as to why this is any more special than Netflix on a Droid or iPod.

because i own neither of these things yet i do own a 3ds.

really. Really? i have to type in "the holy grail of pants" for my captcha? really.

Well I have a 3DS but I live in Canada. And if you know anything about Netflix in Canada, it's selection sucks. So I unfortunately have to just say meh.

Just tried it out and it does work great. This will probably not get heavy use for me but I'll be happy I have it those times I do.

Littleman64:
Well I have a 3DS but I live in Canada. And if you know anything about Netflix in Canada, it's selection sucks. So I unfortunately have to just say meh.

Atleast you don't live here in Norway...where it's not available =(

lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

Asuka Soryu:
lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

Sean951:

Asuka Soryu:
lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

But it still was a terrible eyesore.

It always tickles me that the Escapist "bunker" is in Durham. NCFTW!

Sean951:

Asuka Soryu:
lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

And yet, I always heard people complain about watching a movie/show on a small screen when discussing it, not buying said movies/shows.

SuperMse:
I'm confused as to why this is any more special than Netflix on a Droid or iPod.

Because the 3DS isn't terrible. No really, now I can use netflix on a system I actually bring with me...

mad825:
Personally, why would anyone want this? No doubt if the user had a 3DS and a decent internet connection you would most certainty have a decent sized monitor nearby. On the travel viewing is just...not smart for obvious reasons.

Often I go to my mom's place/etc where I have no computer access but DO have internet access. Sometimes my (or her) TV is in use and she's there. (Yes, I visit my mom sometimes...)

Sometimes I'm just awesome. And a ninja.

uppitycracker:

mad825:
Personally, why would anyone want this? No doubt if the user had a 3DS and a decent internet connection you would most certainty have a decent sized monitor nearby. On the travel viewing is just...not smart for obvious reasons.

i guess if yer waiting in an airport or something, and happen to find a wifi connection, it could be a useful time killer. really depends on the situation, but it certainly isn't a selling point for the thing unless you travel a lot.

And every person on the planet who has a 3DS will do this.
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Right.

Netflix'd be a hell of a lot more commercially viable on Sony's 3g Vita, AT&T or not. With NGP's price being nefariously close to the 3DS, it'd be a fearsome advantage over the 3DS.

Unless Nintendo strikes a deal with Verizon and releases its own 3G 3DS.

Kysafen:

uppitycracker:

mad825:
Personally, why would anyone want this? No doubt if the user had a 3DS and a decent internet connection you would most certainty have a decent sized monitor nearby. On the travel viewing is just...not smart for obvious reasons.

i guess if yer waiting in an airport or something, and happen to find a wifi connection, it could be a useful time killer. really depends on the situation, but it certainly isn't a selling point for the thing unless you travel a lot.

And every person on the planet who has a 3DS will do this.
image
Right.

Netflix'd be a hell of a lot more commercially viable on Sony's 3g Vita, AT&T or not. With NGP's price being nefariously close to the 3DS, it'd be a fearsome advantage over the 3DS.

Unless Nintendo strikes a deal with Verizon and releases its own 3G 3DS.

Hahahaha streaming movies over 3G?

Balobo:

Kysafen:

uppitycracker:

i guess if yer waiting in an airport or something, and happen to find a wifi connection, it could be a useful time killer. really depends on the situation, but it certainly isn't a selling point for the thing unless you travel a lot.

And every person on the planet who has a 3DS will do this.
image
Right.

Netflix'd be a hell of a lot more commercially viable on Sony's 3g Vita, AT&T or not. With NGP's price being nefariously close to the 3DS, it'd be a fearsome advantage over the 3DS.

Unless Nintendo strikes a deal with Verizon and releases its own 3G 3DS.

Hahahaha streaming movies over 3G?

As little I know about telecommunications technologies, I'd imagine if you could play with people online in real-time, you could at least stream video.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

OH? really? can't wait to see 3D movies with that!~

Just watched a full one hour TV episode, and alas, little battery loss and no eyestrain. Unfortunate for people who like to hate, but very fortunate for people who like to watch Netflix.

Kysafen:
[quote="Balobo" post="7.300598.11974624"]

As little I know about telecommunications technologies, I'd imagine if you could play with people online in real-time, you could at least stream video.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Streaming video is a LOT more intensive than gaming online.

Gaming is (roughly) just data for where you are and what you're doing, whereas video is streaming pictures at 24fps.

http://www.dansdata.com/bandwidth.htm (note that this article was posted waaaaay back in the day and then updated, so it would only be more intensive for video seeing that it is much higher def, whereas gaming wouldn't change at all)

punipunipyo:
OH? really? can't wait to see 3D movies with that!~

Isn't going to be 3D movies/etc streamed for a while, but I imagine it's coming.

Streaming video over 3G? I've seen how 3G handles youtube on an Android smartphone and if that's any indication, you're going to be enjoying a very small size and lots of compression in order to get video streaming. 3G is pretty terrible compared to Wifi. Useful for browsing light websites or checking e-mail outside of a wifi signal, but otherwise pointless. (*hates the fact that mobile phone companies require data plans for smartphones*)

Though in any case, Vita will certainly have the upper hand with Netflix, in the form of much better processing speed, probably faster wifi and a much better, larger screen. I bought a 3DS on day 1 but I can't honestly argue that the Vita isn't going to easily pull off a better Netflix than the 3DS. But the same arguments against 3DS Netflix streaming (why not just use a TV, laptop or other device) apply just the same.

OT: I tried streaming on my 3DS and I must say, it's pretty nice! I don't use Netflix much and I doubt I'll use this much if at all (never touched my Wii Netflix channel either) but it's nice to know it's there if the situation arises. :)

Eventidal:
Streaming video over 3G? I've seen how 3G handles youtube on an Android smartphone

That's how YouTube handles 3G, not how '3G handles YouTube.' YouTube has a Mobile setting that has terrible compression and resolution for people with small 3G usage caps. You can still watch videos in any other setting you want.

And Netflix uses Silverlight which is much better at moderating resolution and bitrate over little bandwidth.

And though you wouldn't know on Android, on iPhone Netflix is amazing on 3G or Wifi. Sorry about your processor.

Keith K:

Eventidal:
Streaming video over 3G? I've seen how 3G handles youtube on an Android smartphone

That's how YouTube handles 3G, not how '3G handles YouTube.' YouTube has a Mobile setting that has terrible compression and resolution for people with small 3G usage caps. You can still watch videos in any other setting you want.

And Netflix uses Silverlight which is much better at moderating resolution and bitrate over little bandwidth.

And though you wouldn't know on Android, on iPhone Netflix is amazing on 3G or Wifi. Sorry about your processor.

I stream Netflix over 3G on my iPhone constantly at work, and I've never had any problems at all. This isn't great Big City 3G either my friend. This is bum-fuck middle of no where Louisiana 3G.

Maybe I missed it, but will Netflix on 3DS also stream actual 3D movies?
Like Avatar's theatrical release with the 3D fuction of the 3DS making it really appear 3D?

Chibz:

punipunipyo:
OH? really? can't wait to see 3D movies with that!~

Isn't going to be 3D movies/etc streamed for a while, but I imagine it's coming.

Wouldn't it be 3DS's "edge" on the streaming market? Being able to run 3D movies? I bet Nintendo is figuring out how to stream 2 videos at once, and making 3DS comparable to play just that... it's obvious to stream 2 "lower res" version of the movie (for small screen and all) but being able to output both in the same time and making it registering as 3D movie would have MANY 3D movie fans flooding to get their hands on a 3Ds just to watch 3D movies with out buying an expensive 3D TV... 3DS is then an obvious choice at that point. it's a wish, it's a guess, and it's a possibility that it was originally planed that way...

Asuka Soryu:

Sean951:

Asuka Soryu:
lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

And yet, I always heard people complain about watching a movie/show on a small screen when discussing it, not buying said movies/shows.

The catch here is that, with the PSP, even if you DIDN'T have a problem with the screen size, you're still required to rebuy your movies in UMD format. Or if you don't own a film, buying it in UMD format restricts it to the PSP. With a Netflix account, you still have the flexibility to watch on consoles and computers, as well as good old snail-mail delivery. It's not like Netflix is selling a 3DS only package. And even if they did, you'd still have the option to pay for other types of packages. It keeps your options open to choose what you want with what you've paid for, as opposed to the extremely limited use of the UMD.

Of course, what you hear people discussing is a whole other story, but overall this is much better than UMD movies. (I still probably won't be getting a 3DS though)

Works all right, though I'd much rather watch Netflix on my computer monitor or on my TV thru PS3. Looking forward to when 3D content arrives though!

Bah. Once again England is left in the dust when it comes to advancement in technology. I feel so backwards being in this country (when looking at technology). I hope Nexflix's comes to the UK and soon.

Asuka Soryu:

Sean951:

Asuka Soryu:
lol Wow, yet people b-tched and moaned about watching stuff on the PSP and it's screen is bigger then the 3DS'.

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

And yet, I always heard people complain about watching a movie/show on a small screen when discussing it, not buying said movies/shows.

Actually, my problem was that the battery life sucked canal water while watching a video on the PSP. The picture itself was phenomenal. The PSP has always had a gorgeous screen.

Balobo:

Hahahaha streaming movies over 3G?

My power went out the other day (as did the internet) and I watched movies with great quality on Crackle using *GASP* my 3G signal.

coldfrog:

Asuka Soryu:

Sean951:

The PSP also required you buy the movie in PSP form, not stream it from the account you have to watch it on any of the other consoles.

And yet, I always heard people complain about watching a movie/show on a small screen when discussing it, not buying said movies/shows.

The catch here is that, with the PSP, even if you DIDN'T have a problem with the screen size, you're still required to rebuy your movies in UMD format. Or if you don't own a film, buying it in UMD format restricts it to the PSP. With a Netflix account, you still have the flexibility to watch on consoles and computers, as well as good old snail-mail delivery. It's not like Netflix is selling a 3DS only package. And even if they did, you'd still have the option to pay for other types of packages. It keeps your options open to choose what you want with what you've paid for, as opposed to the extremely limited use of the UMD.

Of course, what you hear people discussing is a whole other story, but overall this is much better than UMD movies. (I still probably won't be getting a 3DS though)

The arguement for the 3DS seems to be, you can play it on other devices... but doesn't that defeat the point of the 3DS? I mean, why would you choose a 3DS screen over your TV/PC?

Mobillity? Where? Can the 3DS go anywhere while connected to Netflix while you're far away from home? And it only would be good in doors, with the lousy Sun telling your screen to go dark as hell.

Then you count in the 3DS craptacular life, wich makes it even less portable, since you'll wanna keep it near a recharger if you're gone to watch movies/episodes.

Asuka Soryu:

The arguement for the 3DS seems to be, you can play it on other devices... but doesn't that defeat the point of the 3DS? I mean, why would you choose a 3DS screen over your TV/PC?

Mobillity? Where? Can the 3DS go anywhere while connected to Netflix while you're far away from home? And it only would be good in doors, with the lousy Sun telling your screen to go dark as hell.

Then you count in the 3DS craptacular life, wich makes it even less portable, since you'll wanna keep it near a recharger if you're gone to watch movies/episodes.

The argument isn't that you can do it on other things, it's that this is a bonus. It's not saying "I'm buying the 3DS to watch Netflix on, which I can also use elsewhere", it's more a case of "I have a 3DS and happen to have Netflix, so this is a little bonus in whatever random situation that might come up". I actually completely agree that there are probably few situations where it is useful, but the fact is that if you HAVE a 3DS and Netflix, this is just a nice little bonus.

Additionally, the review seems to make it seem that you can watch four full-length movies which sounds like good battery life to me.

In any case, this is in no way a system seller, but the fact that it sounds so well done is pretty amazing to me.

Does the update delete all of the trailers from E3 that Nintendo put up? They've been saying they'd be unavailable soon, and I don't know if they meant they'd be unavailable from the shop or if they'd delete them like they did the OK Go video.

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