Netflix 3DS Review

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App Title: Netflix
App Type: Nintendo 3DS
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Not Available
Block Size: 184 Blocks

Netflix is the biggest video streaming service around, next to YouTube, and has released on pretty much all current game consoles for use.  Granted, it still has yet to come to the PlayStation TV (despite all claims that Netflix has been supposedly working on a patch for over a year now), but all consoles, home and handheld, can view their favorite movies and shows that are available on the service.

I use Netflix every day, for movies like Para Elisa to TV Shows like Star Trek: Voyager.  It is my go-to service when I want a break from constantly reviewing games and want to watch something entertaining.  I even prepared for Koei Tecmo’s upcoming Attack on Titan PS Vita/PS3/PS4 game earlier this week with watching the first season of AoT.

Since I use it so much, I thought it proper to begin with Netflix when starting up 3DS App Reviews.  There aren’t a ton of apps for the 3DS, but it does have this one, and a few others I’ve also reviewed for the Vita.  So, here is my review of Netflix for the Nintendo 3DS!

Interface

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JP 1-3 are good to go, but no Jurassic World, yet

When you first boot the app, you get a login screen, letting you log into the service with your email and password, the same as any Netflix app.  Once you’ve put that in (or started a free trial/account), you’re taken to the main browsing page where you can find something to watch and watch it.

This is set up as horizontal rows, detailing genres, media you’ve already watched, new releases, etc.  It looks just like the interface of other apps, from the PS4 Netflix app to the Netflix app built into my Vizio Smart TV.  You just scroll through, select something, and enjoy.

The biggest difference in the interface here is that you tap the Y button on the 3DS to bring up the search option (rather than moving all the way up to the top of the list like you must do in other Netflix apps).

While playing a video, you can tap the A button to bring up the slider, where you can use the directional buttons to move the slider for reverse and fast-forward, and use the A and B buttons for pausing and going back to the main Netflix menu.

Performance

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A pixelated Colossal Titan is still colossal

Now, how does this perform?  If you recall, the PS Vita Netflix app is particularly lag-heavy while browsing the main menu, though video quality makes up for it.  On the 3DS, the menus perform rather well.  As you use either the touch screen or buttons to navigate, everything runs nice and smooth.  That part of the app was well-optimized.

What isn’t optimized are the load times and video quality.  Firstly, the initial load time for the app can take up over an entire minute and a good minute more once you can browse to see the thumbnails for titles.  This also shows itself when loading a title.  The shortest I’ve ever had to wait for a title to start with the 3DS app is about 30 seconds.  So, between clicking play and actually being able to watch, you have to wait a fair bit of time.

That brings to another problem.  On several occasions, the app froze while trying to retrieve and load a TV episode and it froze up my entire system.  I would have to do a hard power-off and completely power the system back on before it would allow me back into the app to try again.

Once something loads, you can watch, but that’s another thing to mention.  The video quality is decent, but not really that great.  When I was watching Jurassic Park on my 3DS, it was very pixelated and blurred out for the entire viewing.  It’s nowhere near the video quality you’d get on almost every other Netflix app available.

Summary

If 3DS users want to use Netflix on their system, it is there and a decent option.  However, they should bear in mind the issues holding it back with lengthy load times, freezing, and pixelated video quality. 

7/10

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