EDIT: As Yadi Yadi points out, this isn’t “news” at all. Last year, Microsoft announced a console-exclusive agreement with Netflix that would guarantee that direct Netflix streaming would not come to other consoles such as the Wii and PS3. After speculation that this might change, Microsoft has reiterated the exact same copy/pasted text from last year’s announcement and this story is doing the rounds on the usual gaming blogs again.
Just as a reminder, there are tons of other options for Netflix streaming that are arguably much better and cheaper than Xbox for most consumers:
- Xbox requires a ~$90 adapter for WiFi (in addition to the $200-$300 base unit). The $100 Roku box includes WiFi at no extra cost. Just about all PCs have standard WiFi as well.
- Xbox requires two separate paid subscriptions: Both the Netflix subscription and a per-user Xbox Gold subscription (you can’t use Netflix streaming with the free subscription). Every other device only requires the basic Netflix subscription.
- You need a computer to to fully browse and build your streaming movie queue, so why not just use the same computer to watch movies as well? (Even with the update)
- Need simple direct-to-tv streaming? Roku boxes cost $100 and stream both Netflix and Amazon video. Most standalone blu-ray players and many newer HDTV models have Netflix streaming built right into the set.
- It requires effort to setup, but if you have the patience, you can use PlayOn to relay Netflix (and tons of other content) to your PS3
I will say, though, that if you watch lots of movies, or more importantly, if you have a household with kids that watch tons and tons of movies, the buffet style Netflix subscription is a great deal. Hopefully more services will develop similar offerings.
Written by: Darrin
- Contributing Editor