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.
Thursday 9 July 2009 @ 12:16 pm | By David 'KidKobun' Bruno
If Raiden Fighters Aces wasn’t enough to quench your appetite for fast-paced twitch gaming and mind blowing bullet hell action then fear not shmup fans as the time to rejoice is near. In exactly two months time, on September 8, 2009 UFO Interactive will be blessing Xbox 360 owners will Raiden IV. Fans of the series can expect to see new stages, exclusive weapons and bosses along with online features that include leaderboards, replays, downloadable themes, art and even unlockable ships (Fairy, Raiden Mark II)! That should be more than enough to keep your thumbs mashin’ away.
We’ll have more on Raiden IV soon, so be sure to keep it tuned to DDN.
Currently seen as the top North American anime distributor, Funimation Entertainment has begun an aggressive effort to establish an online presence. Recent content sharing agreements include Toei Animation, Japanese producer GDH, Viz Media and Studio Bones, all inked within the last month. The most telling development is the recent distribution deal with internet TV service Veoh Networks.
Funimation is facing an uphill battle as their primary competitor Crunchyroll is already in a position to stream legitimately licensed anime directly from Japan. Backed by several notable Japanese television conglomerates and supported through advertisements, Crunchyroll provides its subscribers access to many Japanese series within one hour of their original broadcast and offers HD options with no advertisements through a fee-base premium subscription.
Many anime distributors are seeking ways transform their business to compete in an online market. Hoping to leverage their brands and changing how they understand their audience, Funimation is at the top of these “traditional” companies. With an already robust online community, this would be the natural progression for the Funimation brand and its internet audience.
Should companies rely less on traditional “boxed” anime and instead focus their attention to online distribution? Does online distribution allow more studios to take a chance when producing anime? And most importantly to the studio…how will they make up for lost sales when diverting its assets online?
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