You can watch but you can’t broadcast
Today — several years after its debut — the Nintendo Switch now has a Twitch app.
The live-streaming platform has a free 31MB app for the Switch, and you can download it here from the Nintendo eShop. You can watch streams, VODs, clips, and browse on your Switch in handheld or docked mode — but you can’t broadcast. There’s also a chat caveat.
Instead of watching a stream and interacting with chat at the same time on your Switch, the Twitch app relegates chat features to a smartphone “companion experience.”
As explained in this FAQ (along with other details about the lack of broadcasting and Bit-gifting), here’s how to access chat in the Nintendo Switch Twitch app:
- When you click on a creator’s channel you’ll see an overview page.
- On this page, you can read about the channel and the stream, follow the channel, go to the creator’s profile, or report the stream. You will also be able to see chat on the right hand side of the page.
- To join the chat, first click on the Join the conversation button. Then you scan the QR code using your mobile phone to be sent to the companion experience in the Twitch Mobile app.
- While you’re in the companion experience, you can use your phone to read and type messages in chat while watching the stream on your Nintendo Switch.
In other words, there’s some give-and-take, and it’s been a long time coming, but the Switch has Twitch. Even without feature parity, I feel like the app will have uses in certain situations where people have a Switch handy but not necessarily other devices or screens.
Just in case you’re curious about the state of media apps on Nintendo Switch these days (but not so curious that you want to bother searching around): the console also has YouTube, Hulu, Funimation, and Pokémon TV. So yeah — still no Netflix.