updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue February 12, 2008
Netflix PS3 and Xbox Rumor
Netflix may consider extending its Watch Instantly movie streaming feature to game consoles, says one customer presented with a survey by the company. Polling its subscriber base, the rental outlet asks households if they would like to watch both movies and TV shows through either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 and suggests a custom software implementation that would allow the feature. Xbox owners would be able to use their Xbox Live account to obtain an upgrade for free that allows Internet streaming; without a paid, unified Internet service, the PlayStation 3 would need a CD to install an update that enables the feature.
The report has not been immediately corroborated but would remain consistent with Netflix's recent growth in its online strategy, which began with plans to offer its videos on an LG set-top box followed by unlimited online viewing on PCs. In the plans described by the survey, the company would offer the video streaming feature on PS3 and Xbox 360 systems as a free extension to existing mail-based rental subscriptions. Only a $3 charge would apply for the cost of the CD for the PS3, Netflix purportedly says.
While technically possible, a console-borne Watch Instantly service may conflict directly with Microsoft's Xbox Video Marketplace, which lets users purchase TV shows and rent movies that are downloaded directly through the Xvox 360's stock interface.