See that image … that is the disc you would need to load and run in order to stream ‘Watch Instant’ movies on Netflix if you had a PS3 or Wii.. Yes, you needed a disc to watch disc-free movies. Strange, I know. A few weeks ago when Netflix introduced streaming content to Canada we got a hint that a change was coming, since the PS3 didn’t need a disc to stream content there. Now we have the official announcements – neither the Wii nor the PS3 need a disc to stream Netflix anymore.
For the PS3, the change comes along with some amazing quality improvements previously only available to PC users, and is enabled via a XMB update available now, and according to Yahoo! Tech News:
The PS3 version, whose installer should be available later today, will offer dramatically more than either Nintendo or Microsoft, including Dolby 5.1 surround and 1080p support. I called it the “best version yet” last week. Because it will be…until Microsoft responds in kind.
As for Nintendo, here is the info from an email I got yesterday:
Beginning today, Netflix members in the United States and Canada can stream content through their Wii™ consoles with Netflix installed on their Wii Menu. The Netflix disc that was used for instant streaming on the Wii console will no longer be required. Netflix members who have a plan starting at $8.99 a month ($7.99 in Canada), a Wii console and a broadband Internet connection can now instantly watch movies and TV shows streamed directly to their TVs by simply downloading Netflix from the Wii Shop Channel. This new channel is available at no extra cost. The new disc-free option installs Netflix on the Wii Menu, making it convenient for Wii owners to quickly access streaming movies and TV shows.
“At this time of year, consumers have a near-insatiable demand for family entertainment,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “And this simplified Netflix access will help bring families together more quickly, more easily and in more ways than ever before. More than 3 million Wii systems have already connected to Netflix, demonstrating how easy the service is to set up and use.”
Have you been using Netflix on your gaming consoles? If so, how has it been for you? Honestly, while we have the Wii disc, either my wife’s or my laptop is always nearby with HDMI output to take advantage of the 1080p and surround-sound output. Still, this is great news for those who have a Wii or PS3 attached to their TV and were tired of dealing with running a disc to stream movies. What do you think?