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3DS

North America

Netflix

by Andy Goergen - July 14, 2011, 6:34 pm PDT
Total comments: 21

The 3DS joins the league of handheld devices with Netflix access, but how does it stack up?

With the release of Netflix on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, Nintendo's latest handheld enters into direct competition with many other mobile devices including but not limited to Android smartphones and Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone platforms. As the popular streaming service becomes more and more widespread, it's important that the particular implementation on the 3DS can hold up to other devices.

The first thing you'll need to do upon downloading and launching the app is activating on the Netflix website. It's strange that some of the Netflix applications (Android, PS3) seem to bypass this step. It's frustrating to need to have a web browser handy, but luckily the 3DS is equipped with a competent web browser.

After activating on the website (which negates the need to put in a username and password) you are immediately taken to your instant queue. From this point forward, the application works very much like any other Netflix app. You can press the Y button to search for a title, or use the D-Pad to scan through some pre-set genres and recommendations.

Depending on the speed of your network connection, loading up a new video can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more.  The 3DS doesn't seem paricularly slower or faster than other Netflix applications (such as the Wii application). In general, that statement applies to most of the functionality of the 3DS version of Netflix.

One cool item that Netflix on 3DS brings to the table is 3D implementation of the menu, including a pop-up effect on the little screens that scroll across the screen while rewinding or fast forwarding. Since all Netflix content (at the present) is 2D, the 3D slider is deactivated once video playback begins.

The quality of the video is not great, but not much different than what can be found on other handheld platforms. Certainly it's watchable, and will do just fine for the needs of the many, but the few who require pristine high quality video may need to stick to the Retina Display of the iPhone 4. Most importantly, the video playback on Netflix for 3DS doesn't seem to be any lower in resolution than the screen would otherwise allow.

The presence of Netflix on 3DS has been touted by Nintendo as a great addition to the Nintendo 3DS featureset, and it is; however it's also more or less a requirement of a competent online handheld device in 2011. Luckily, 3DS owners won't have much to complain about with the Netflix implementation on their shiny new handheld.

Talkback

SeacorJuly 14, 2011

Working great!  I am very impressed with the performance of the Netflix application on the 3DS.

TJ SpykeJuly 14, 2011

It was awhile ago, but I am pretty sure I remember having to go to Netflix's website to activate it on the PlayStation 3 just like I did with the Wii and 3DS.

yoshi1001July 14, 2011

As I mentioned in the other thread, the audio does seem to be in mono (few mobile devices have built-in stereo speakers, so the omission is somewhat understandable). I've tested three shows (MythBusters, The Garfield Show, and Star Trek TNG)-all are in mono. The audio is still very good though.

DremmyJuly 14, 2011

Did anyone else have trouble trying to get out of the app? I hit the home button but it wouldnt let me get out. I even tried to shut the 3DS down and still nothing. It finally shut down after about a minute. I was worried there for a second that I may have messed something up but everything seems fine after I turned it back on. I wish there was a soft reset of the system when you run into things like that.

SeacorJuly 14, 2011

Quote from: Dremmy

Did anyone else have trouble trying to get out of the app? I hit the home button but it wouldnt let me get out. I even tried to shut the 3DS down and still nothing. It finally shut down after about a minute. I was worried there for a second that I may have messed something up but everything seems fine after I turned it back on. I wish there was a soft reset of the system when you run into things like that.

Yeah, that happened to me after I first launched the application after the download.  It hung up when attempting to access a title in my instant queue.  I was able to get it to back out to the instant queue list, but could not actually get the application to close with the Home button.  I had to power off the 3DS.  I have not experienced any further occurrences of this behavior.

leahsdadJuly 14, 2011

Quote:

Certainly it's watchable, and will do just fine for the needs of the many, but the few who require pristine high quality video may need to stick to the Retina Display of the iPhone 4

Ah, the catch 22 there is that on the Iphone the interface is nearly unusable.  I was worried about this and I'm really glad that on the 3DS Netflix is using the side-scrolling, multi-row interface that they've been using on the Wii and, more recently, on the website.  My touch does have that retina display, to be sure, but scrolling down one by one to find my movie, like scrolling down blog posts?  Horrrible.  Basically, you have to get on your desktop computer, choose some movies you want to watch, and then drop them into your instant queue, then bust out your IOS device again so that you can pick out what you want to watch from your instant queue.  Jeez.

I just wish they took more advantage of the bottom screen during video playback.  But then again, battery-life-obsessives may be more thankful that they turned the bottom screen off.

CericJuly 14, 2011

When you scroll through a movie thats in 3D.  I'm surprised about the mono because how the 3DS speakers are it does well with surround type sound.  It allows good older Stereo implementation like DK94 shine as well.

Good catch on the audio being in mono, you guys.  I didn't even think to check for something like that.


I also had the application lock up on me once, but my 3DS has been doing weird stuff like that on a fairly consistent basis, so I didn't attribute it to the app.

CericJuly 15, 2011

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

Good catch on the audio being in mono, you guys.  I didn't even think to check for something like that.

I also had the application lock up on me once, but my 3DS has been doing weird stuff like that on a fairly consistent basis, so I didn't attribute it to the app.

The first time you open up and register the application it locks.  After that it works fine.

TJ SpykeJuly 15, 2011

It did not lock up on me. As soon as I registered it and got to the movie selection screen, I hit the home button and it exited right out to the home screen.

CericJuly 15, 2011

Quote from: TJ

It did not lock up on me. As soon as I registered it and got to the movie selection screen, I hit the home button and it exited right out to the home screen.

You didn't do anything.

TJ SpykeJuly 15, 2011

Seacor said it locked it locked up on him as soon as he launched the app.

CericJuly 15, 2011

Quote from: Seacor

Quote from: Dremmy

Did anyone else have trouble trying to get out of the app? I hit the home button but it wouldnt let me get out. I even tried to shut the 3DS down and still nothing. It finally shut down after about a minute. I was worried there for a second that I may have messed something up but everything seems fine after I turned it back on. I wish there was a soft reset of the system when you run into things like that.

Yeah, that happened to me after I first launched the application after the download.  It hung up when attempting to access a title in my instant queue.  I was able to get it to back out to the instant queue list, but could not actually get the application to close with the Home button.  I had to power off the 3DS.  I have not experienced any further occurrences of this behavior.

I think it has something to do with not having the registration at the launch of the application.  That is what occurred to me too.  It didn't really lock until I tried a title.  Though after having to hard reboot my 3DS its worked fine ever since.

I think the take away from these experiences is that:

If you get the Netflix app. 
Load it up. 
Register it. 
Back out of it without trying to access anything. 
Load the app back up and it should work fine.

I just set it up and can confirm that it's still a problem.

yoshi1001July 15, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

When you scroll through a movie thats in 3D.  I'm surprised about the mono because how the 3DS speakers are it does well with surround type sound.  It allows good older Stereo implementation like DK94 shine as well.

I actually think some of the GB games overuse stereo (shades of 60's music!), but that's a discusssion for another thread. Ideally, the app would implement some type of virtual surround for speakers/headphones (there are some good algorithms out there, though they would probably require licensing).

NemoJuly 15, 2011

It's unfortunate that Netflix decided to raise the price of my plan by 60%. My reaction was to cancel Netflix. Oh well.

TanatoesJuly 15, 2011

Are there any stereoscopic 3-D movies available?  I'd pay for Netflix if I could watch Avatar, How to Train your Dragon and Coraline on my 3DS screen.

TJ SpykeJuly 15, 2011

There are no 3D movies, and Netflix has no plans to do so anytime soon. Nintendo gave a message about 3D movies coming soon, but they were not clear whether they meant on Netflix or through Nintendo Video.

KnowsNothingJuly 16, 2011

Anyone else having trouble with their Recently Watched list?  Sometimes it shows up and sometimes it's completely missing...

TanatoesJuly 16, 2011

Quote from: TJ

There are no 3D movies, and Netflix has no plans to do so anytime soon. Nintendo gave a message about 3D movies coming soon, but they were not clear whether they meant on Netflix or through Nintendo Video.

Aww.  :

SeacorJuly 21, 2011

The app just locked up again with no way to exit except for a 3DS power reset.  It attempts to display the images of all the movies in the various categories, halts the load of images and previously displayed images disappear.  The 3DS Home button becomes non-responsive and there is no way to exit the application except for a power reset.  Hopefully an updated version is in the works to fix this.

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Genre
Developer Netflix
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Netflix
Release Jul 14, 2011
PublisherNetflix
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