Bandersnatch is Netflix’s new interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style movie that ties into the Black Mirror universe. However, it won’t play on every Netflix-enabled device.
Bandersnatch was written using Twine, an open-source platform that allows for interactive fiction and narrative-heavy games, but that requires devices with a level of technological sophistication in order to deliver a proper interactive experience. An email from Netflix confirms that Bandersnatch isn’t supported on Chromecast, Apple TV, and “some legacy devices.” Outdated hardware devices that don’t support Netflix software updates — like the PlayStation Vita or Nintendo Wii U — are also unlikely to support Bandersnatch. And it’s unlikely your smart microwave with Netflix capabilities can play it either.
Those who try to access Bandersnatch on devices that don’t support the technology will be met with a message from Netflix to help them find a device that supports the Black Mirror special, according to the email. The email confirms that Bandersnatch is supported on “most newer devices, including TVs, game consoles, web browsers, and Android and iOS devices running the latest version of the Netflix app.” A small icon appears on top of the title card to signal that people can stream Bandersnatch.
A statement on Bandersnatch’s Netflix page states, “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is only available on devices that support interactive content,” adding that no linear version is available. A Netflix representative told The Verge over email there isn’t a comprehensive list of which devices support Bandersnatch and which don’t.
It’s an interesting situation for Netflix to find itself in, since it’s not just a browser app, but exists on numerous devices and Netflix needs to cater to everyone. Normally, when a show or movie is just streaming, the company doesn’t have to think about presentation concerns; the only exception is when series or films are designed to be aesthetically more pleasing in 4K or HDR. Bandersnatch, however, does broach this concern because in this case, technology isn’t just the medium that allows viewers to watch a movie, but is an integral part of experiencing the story in itself.
Maybe the true message here is that we should all migrate to PlayStation 4 or Xbox One consoles for streaming purposes.
Bandersnatch is currently available to stream.