Can You Watch Videos From an SD Card on Nintendo Switch?

Some Switch users wonder if they can use their console to watch videos directly from their micro SD card. With the Switch’s ability to read data from this storage medium, being able to view media from it should be possible too right?

In this article, we’ll see if you can watch files from the SD card on the Nintendo Switch. If not, we’ll see if there are any viable workarounds available.

No Official Media App

Presently, the Switch has no official app that can play media files, either directly from the console or even the SD card. Nintendo has stated that it prefers to develop the console’s gameplay rather than its media utility. The Switch is fully capable of playing media, but official software is currently non-existent.

Future Plans for VLC

Back in January 2019, it was announced that VLC, a very versatile media player, was coming to the Switch. Despite VLC developers confirming that they’re working on it, a release date hasn’t yet been confirmed. A Switch version of the player is planned, but development is slow, and will probably take until 2021 until it’s ready to go.

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Using Custom Firmware

There is an unofficial workaround to the lack of a decent media player on the Switch. This involves using something called custom firmware via the Homebrew App. Be warned. This falls under hacking within Nintendo’s terms of Service, and may result in a ban. Being banned by Nintendo means that you’ll no longer be able to access the official servers and this may affect a lot of online games.

Although this method may work for some versions of Switch, it’s often patched out by Nintendo. It also won’t work with the Switch Lite at all. This method is unadvisable, as not only may it not work with your console, it voids your warranty, and may result in an outright ban.

Watching Movies via the YouTube App

If you can’t watch the movies on your SD card, then can you watch movies at all? Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Switch has an official YouTube app that allows you to watch the popular streaming website, along with YouTube Movies.

YouTube Movies has a selection of both free and paid titles for you to watch. Just browse their listing and choose a movie that interests you. The same goes for YouTube channels that offer feature length content. There are plenty of channels that have licensed movies offered for free.

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To download the YouTube App, proceed to the Nintendo eShop and type YouTube on the search bar. Proceed to purchase and click Ok. The app is free so you won’t have to enter any credit card details.

Once it has downloaded, it’s easily accessible through the HOME screen on your Switch console.

Movies Anywhere

There’s also a workaround that allows users to watch all of the digital movies that they’ve purchased on Switch. This solution involves the Movies Anywhere app.

Linking your Movies Anywhere account to your Google Play account will allow you to access your Movies Anywhere Library via YouTube. Note that the Google Play account you’re using should be registered under YouTube, and that YouTube account must be the one that you’ve logged into via Switch.

Movies Anywhere integrates your digital purchase lists from Google, Amazon, Vudu, Fandango, and several other movie sites. Any movie that you buy from a site that is affiliated with Movies Anywhere will show up on your library. When you open YouTube via Switch and have a linked Movies Anywhere account, scrolling to purchased movies will show you that list.

Streaming on Hulu

Currently, the only movie streaming service available on Switch is Hulu. There have been discussions within the company to expand this lineup, but as yet nothing new has come out. Hulu, like YouTube, is a free app and can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.

Once installed, log in or create a Hulu account and browse their wide selection of movies and TV series.

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Waiting for an Official Player

Being able to play media would be impractical till Nintendo themselves decide to include an official player. Until then, watching videos from the SD card on the Nintendo Switch would be difficult at best, impossible at worst. Workarounds may be available, but at present, they’re limited to streaming, and unofficial software solutions are unadvisable. Unofficial software risks you being banned, and not being able to access the official servers can affect gameplay.

Do you know of a way to watch videos from the SD card on Switch? Do you have any thoughts on this topic? Share it in the comments section below.

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