Update: People have been getting their discs, and it appears that it does stream in HD, and looks pretty good overall. Click on to see a video of Netflix on PS3 in use.
One of the clear advantages the XBOX 360 had over the PS3 in our three-year ongoing conversation about XBOX 360 vs Playstation 3 has been the ability to easily stream movies and TV shows via Netflix. With a standard $9/month account (and $50/year Gold account) 360 users had access to hours upon hours of content, streamed instantly and in HD.
As we’ve seen with each passing year, the two consoles are coming closer and closer to feature and price parity as time goes by. Today’s case in point is the announcement that Playstation 3 will also feature Netflix streaming.
Unlike the 360 though, Netflix won’t be embedded into the firmware. Instead, you will have to run a Blu-Ray “movie” which uses BD-Live technology to stream media.
I have never streamed media via this method before, so I’m not sure what to expect at this point. I just hope that it does at least a good job as the 360 (especially since the 360’s Netflix is going to be greatly improved with the upcoming firmware update). The press release makes no mention of resolution or bitrate or any specs at all, so we’ll have to wait and see. One thing you won’t need is a $50 Live Gold account, which is nice.
And by the way, there’s no reason this shouldn’t work on any Blu-Ray player with BD-Live capability.
You can sign up for your free Netflix streaming disc here.
Click below to see a video of PS3 Netflix streaming in action:
Here’s a video by 1Up showing the streaming in process. Anime probably wasn’t the best way to show it off, since horizontal scrolling stutters pretty badly. But you can get an idea of how the interface works. BD Live is looking pretty good!