Despite the removal of the app, anyone who downloaded Netflix onto one of the aging devices can still use and re-download it until June 30. After that point, it will cease to function.
“Starting Dec 31st, 2020, the Netflix app will no longer be available for new users to download from Nintendo eShop on the Wii U console or Nintendo 3DS family of systems,” Nintendo wrote on its website (via Nintendo Life). “During that time, it will be possible for existing users to re-download these applications. Service for existing users will continue until June 30th, 2021. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed Netflix on these platforms over the years.”
After June 30, no Nintendo device will support the streaming service. Even the incredibly popular Nintendo Switch, which analysts expect will be the best-selling console of 2021, lacks Netflix. There are other streaming options on the hybrid console, of course, including a Hulu app in the US and video-sharing app NicoNico in Japan.
Back when the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017, Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime said Netflix “would come in time.” Fils-Aime a year later said that talks between the two companies were “on-going,” but we’ve heard nothing since then. Could Nintendo be holding off until a 4K-capable Switch Pro arrives, possibly this year? We’ll have to wait and see.