updated 07:05 am EDT, Mon October 26, 2009
PS3 Netflix deal breaks Xbox exclusive
Netflix this morning broke its once-exclusive Xbox 360 deal with Microsoft by offering Netflix for PlayStation 3. The link will let any US-based PS3 owner with a Netflix subscription stream movies and TV shows online; they can also add movies to the queue and rate titles. Early on, the service will depend on customers owning a free Blu-ray disc that draws on BD-Live for Internet access, but the service should eventually be integrated into the PS3's firmware.
Streaming should be available starting in November using the disc approach and will include an unlimited amount of viewing with any subscription worth $9 or more. The necessary disc should ship within a day once the service is available.
Sony's new support for Netflix is a deep blow to Microsoft, which until now had claimed and counted on an exclusive as a key advantage for the Xbox 360 as a media hub. The latter now only has the upcoming Zune Video Marketplace as its key advantage, as it provides 1080p streaming where Netflix is confined to 720p.