Netflix names PlayStation 3 as its new streaming movie partner

Netflix today announced it will partner with Sony to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix’s online library through Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system. The announcement comes on the eve of the end of the company’s deal with Microsoft and its Xbox 360 console and allows PS3 owners to stream movies from the Netflix catalog for free if they have a DVD-by-mail subscription service with Netflix for at least $9 a month.

"The PlayStation 3 system has always been about more than just gaming, and it will soon be the only platform in the industry to offer consumers such a variety of convenient options for enjoying movies and TV shows," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

"As instantly watching movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix becomes an increasingly popular way to enjoy the Netflix service, our goal is to rapidly expand the devices that stream to our members," said Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings. "As a leading game console and Blu-ray disc player, bringing Netflix to the PS3 system is a real win for both Netflix members and PS3 system owners."

PS3 plus Netflix means a bigger audience

The deal brings a gaggle of new customers to Netflix’s doorstep. The company last week announced it had brought its subscription level to more than 11.1 million in the just-ended third quarter. Sony has sold about 9 million PlayStation 3 units in the United States, and already offers movies and TV shows over its console. Partnering with Netflix gives it an additional feature to promote as well.

Until an upgrade in the PS3 software sometime next year, users will have to insert a Netflix-supplied Blue-ray disc into the console to launch a Netflix interface and access content. The free instant streaming disc leverages Blu-ray's BD-Live(TM) technology to access the Internet and activate the Netflix user interface on the PS3 system, which must be online via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Xbox users don't need a disc to access content.

For more:
- see this release
- see this New York Times blog

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