YouTube 3DS Review

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App Title: YouTube
App Type: Nintendo 3DS
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
Block Size: 184 Blocks

The first of my 3DS App Reviews was the recent review of the Netflix app for Nintendo’s current handheld.  I can’t say I was overly impressed with the video quality, but hey, it’s better than no Netflix.  You can easily look past a couple faults if you just want the service on your system.  After all, it played okay.  It was just pixelated.

Anyways, continuing the 3DS App Review thing, I’ve decided to go with another popular video-streaming service.  By service, this is more of a website thing, since you don’t have to pay to use it, like you do with Netflix.  The big public video-uploading-sharing giant is here on the 3DS and I’ve prepared a review of it for you.  Here is my 3DS review of the YouTube app!

Design

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The interface and looks of the app are clearly meant to put focus on both screens with the top screen used exclusively for streaming video while the bottom controls everything else about the interface.  When not in a video, the top screen just shows the YouTube logo.  All navigation and input is done on the touch screen or with the buttons.

When you boot up the app, the interface shows videos listed in a vertical manner with a bar across the top with buttons you can tap on to use.  These are pretty basic features, from going to the home page, searching for specific videos, and going into settings to adjust the app’s settings or sign in with your own YouTube account.

Whether you’re searching or just looking at your feed, the touch screen shows videos in a vertical manner that you need to cycle through.  Once you’re to one, a simple tap or press of the A button will get you going into the video.

The video interface is very easy to catch onto.  You have the location slider at the bottom that you can drag to go to a specific point of the video as well as a Play/Pause button and a Closed Captions button you can use at any time you wish.

That’s pretty much all there is to the interface.  It sounds simple, and really, it is.  You’ll find out more about the app’s simplicity in the next section.

Performance

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One of the first things to note is about the app’s navigation features.  Whether you’re typing in a keyword for a search, looking through someone’s uploaded videos, or just looking at your recommendations, things run nice and smooth.  I never encountered any lag issues when navigating the app (or in streaming).  The optimization for navigation is definitely there.

One optimization issue I did find, though, was with skipping to certain points in videos.  The very first time I tried to move the slider for a video and jump about halfway through, the app sat there, loading for a good 2 minutes or more, and then crashed.  One minute I am looking at a video review I’ve done in the past, and the next, the app’s home screen loads.  This happening can vary, but it’s happened about 50/50 for me.  Often enough for me to mention here.

On top of this are loading sequences.  Many times, there will be loading sequences that seem to take forever.  Many videos I loaded took 2+ minutes to load, while loading the same video the next day would take as little as 15 seconds.  There were also other times where a video would never load and I’d have to go back and reload it again to get it to actually load.

The main issue from the Netflix app returns here for YouTube, and that is video quality.  No matter what video you load, you’re going to get a pixelated video.  Note that I looked at this primarily on a 2DS so the larger XL screen size is not the culprit, but the app itself.  Just don’t go in, expecting perfect video quality, because you’ll be sorely disappointed.

One last thing I’ll note is the app’s lack of features.  You can log in with your account, but creators have nothing to do.  You can’t edit videos or comments or annotations or anything.  It’s mostly just there to see your recommendations and such.  Speaking of comments, though.  The app can’t view comments at all.  When in videos, all you can view are similar or recommended videos and the description.  You aren’t capable of viewing or leaving comments at all.

Summary

YouTube for 3DS is just as Netflix was, being usable but not optimal.  The main downsides of the app are pixelated video quality, the common amount of crashing when skipping through videos, endless loading sequences, and its lack of features.  If you want to watch videos, it can do that.  But it’s got nothing on the dedicated iOS/Android mobile apps for the YouTube service. 

6/10

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