A while back I had mentioned receiving an email from Netflix asking me my thoughts on whether I’d use the instant streaming service on a PS3. I crossed my fingers wishing it were true, now months later a little birdie in the form of an uptick in share price, yes I watch financial markets, sends me sleuthing. What I find is news of a deal between Netflix and the Playstation 3.
Users will need to request a PS3/Netflix disc allowing them access to the service and if you already have a Netflix account, the functionality is free. Depending on how you frame the argument you can say Netflix is already free on the Xbox360, that is if you omit the $50.00 Gold Membership XboxLive charge.
However, as the title suggests, the devil is in the details: “Watching instantly is included with an unlimited Netflix membership”. I’m not totally sure what this means since all Netflix plans include unlimited instant watching (except 1). One might complain/scoff at the idea of having to keep handy a PS3 Netflix disc around to play content, but licensing plays a major part in this.
The original Xbox needed a DVD dongle (at the cost of Xbox owners) to play DVDs whereas the PS2 didn’t and Sony had to pay a large upfront fee for licensing. When Netflix first appeared on the Xbox360, Sony Pictures and its subsidiaries were blocked out of being shown on instant streaming to Xbox360 owners. With Sony/PS3 now reaching a content agreement, the full Netflix instant library may soon be available, but only to Playstation 3 owners.