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Sunday, December 1, 2013

YouTube hits the 3DS... and works (more or less)

The 3DS finally has an app that allows people to watch YouTube videos. The good news is that it works. The bad news is that it doesn't work that well.

To explain what I mean I'm going to directly compare the app to the Vita and mobile/ tablet experiences of YouTube. On the plus side for the 3DS app, it uses the dual screens well. The top screen plays the video, while the bottom screen displays some basic information as well as the navigation tools. It's easy to log in and navigate around using this app.

That said, menus do feature a lot of scrolling to see everything, and the screen real estate on the bottom screen isn't that well utilised. The layout isn't very clean for its simplicity and it gives the app a slightly cheap feel. Though the Wii U's YouTube app isn't that great itself it does look slick, so I'm not sure why the developers of this app struggled to come up with a clean an intuitive interface.

That said, it's a tolerable browsing experience. Where things really start to fall apart is in terms of the video footage itself. For a start, on my original 3DS model, the footage is badly compressed and even the "High Quality" footage looks like anything but. I shudder to think what this compression would look like on a XL model. Turning HQ off shrinks the picture to a size so small it's impossible to see anything. Loading times are relatively slow, too, and you'll want headphones because the 3DS' speakers are not great for YouTube video sound.

The Vita YouTube app, meanwhile, displays the same video in actual high quality and of course the mobile viewing experience is quite excellent, so despite being late to the party the 3DS's YouTube experience is one of the weakest out there.

With that said at least it's on there now and hey, it's another way that you can follow the DDNet TV YouTube channel!

Now if only we can get a Crunchyroll app....
YouTube hits the 3DS... and works (more or less)
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