Exclusive Xbox 360-Netflix Partnership Not So Exclusive Anymore
“This exclusive partnership offers you the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via Xbox 360. Xbox 360 will be the only game console to offer this movie-watching experience, available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix unlimited plan subscribers…at no additional cost.”
So much for Xbox 360’s game console exclusivity on Netflix streaming. This morning, the DVD-by-mail pioneer said that beginning sometime next month, owners of Sony’s PlayStation 3 game consoles will be able to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix.
The feature, which brings an unlimited amount of online viewing with any subscription worth $9 or more, will initially require an “instant streaming Blu-ray disc” to enable it. Not the most elegant of implementations, but presumably a firmware upgrade will likely follow and bake the feature into the PS3.
For Netflix (NFLX), the deal provides a chance to broaden its subscriber base. About nine million PlayStation 3 systems have been sold in U.S., and more than 25 million worldwide. So the potential for new customers here is substantial. For Sony (SNE), which already offers movies and TV shows to PS 3 users for a $3 to $4 fee, it’s a way of removing an Xbox 360 marketing advantage Microsoft (MSFT) has been lording over it since this past August.