Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) and Netflix,today announced that they are joining forces to make movies and TV episodes from Netflix available to be streamed instantly to TVs via the PlayStation 3 (PS3 ) computer entertainment system.
Netflix expects to begin streaming via the PS3 system next month at no additional cost to Netflix members in the United States who have a PS3 system.
The PS3 system's installed base has reached close to 9 million units in the United States, and Netflix recently reported 11.1 million U.S. subscribers as of September 30, according to data from both companies.
The partnership will enable consumers to play high-definition games, watch Blu-ray movies, listen to music, view photos, browse the Internet, and download content from PlayStation Network - from exclusive games to movies and popular TV shows.
For $8.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed to their TVs and computers via Netflix ready devices such as the PS3 system and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes.
Initially, watching movies instantly streamed from Netflix via the PS3 system will be enabled by a free, instant streaming Blu-ray disc that is being made available to all Netflix members. The free instant streaming disc leverages Blu-ray's BD-Live technology to access the Internet and activate the Netflix user interface on the PS3 system, which must be online via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Netflix members simply slide the disc into their PS3 systems to reveal movies and TV episodes that can be watched instantly. These titles are organized into a variety of categories based on members' personal preferences, popular genres, new arrivals and members' individual instant Queues. Members can use the Netflix Web site or navigate directly on their PS3 systems to add movies and TV shows to their Queues. With the PS3 system's Wireless Controller, members can choose a movie to watch from their instant Queues or just play directly from any of the lists. They also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies. In addition, they have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream via the Wireless Controller.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 console already offers Netflix access, but users must pay $50 a year for Xbox Live Gold membership to use it.