If you haven’t already downloaded the free Netflix application, you may want to look into it. Although Netflix is available across many different platforms, the ease of use makes this a winner in my book.
Setting up the application is easy once you’ve gone to the eShop to download it. When you first run it, it’ll give you a website and activation code where you’ll enter it in. This will need to be done from another computer. Once this step is complete, you’ll notice it will begin to load the main Netflix menu.
Once you get to the menu, you’ll find it’s intuitive and can be navigated with your stylus, D-pad, or circle pad. If you want to go through a genre of movies quickly, you can use the shoulder buttons to page through. The process is fluid when you have a decent internet connection. I noticed on first boot that the images weren’t loading properly, but a re-boot of the application solved this issue. If you have 3D enabled, you’ll notice the menus and covers pop-out. When applied to the background of the descriptions for each video, I found it distracting and harder to read than 2D. To search, you simply press the Y button at anytime during the main menu. The search menu is pretty straight forward with an alphabet on the left where you can type in whatever you’re looking for. Once you do start entering characters into the box, the search begins, similar to how Google fetches results on the first few words you type in.
When you’ve selected a title, you’ll get a few options, depending on the title. I selected Star Trek: The Next Generation, first episode as a test. The options for this episode included adding it to my queue, watching other episodes, and subtitle/audio options. Not all titles have the same features as a note.
Playing a video requires buffering, although it wasn’t too long of a wait. Once you start to play a video, the 3D indicator light automatically turns off. This is due to the fact the service is only streaming 2D movies for now. Only when you pause the video and move the position of the movie playback does the light come back. Once you do exit from watching, the 3D menus return. The bottom screen also goes dim, but still remains active during viewing.
When it comes to the video quality on the system, it is a bit lacking. When loading a few episodes of random shows, I noticed artifacting across the screen. This didn’t seem to happen 100% of the time, but it did catch my attention. The video played smoothly along with the audio otherwise. I’ve not yet noticed any stuttering with any video I’ve tried to play.
As a note to parents, if you don’t want your child to have access to a certain range of entertainment, you’ll need to setup these preferences on the actual Netflix site. There are no options for this on the Nintendo 3DS application when it comes to viewing Netflix content.
Even with the small playback issues, this is still a wonderful free application. For those with Netflix, you will want to at least check it out. Once 3D content becomes available, this might be something for everyone to at least take a peek at.