It's been rumored for a while, but Sony and Netflix have officially announced a new partnership in which content on Netflix's streaming video service will be available to watch via the PlayStation 3. Netflix customers can request a free disc that will make it all happen. The PlayStation Blog has the details.
We’re excited to announce today that Netflix and Sony have partnered to bring you thousands of movies and TV episodes streamed instantly from Netflix to your TV via your PS3 system at no extra charge. When the application launches next month, you’ll be able to access and watch thousands of Netflix choices directly through the XMB. We think that the nearly nine million PS3 enthusiasts and 11.1 million Netflix members in the U.S. will make quite a match.
If you want to get a head start on your PS3 Netflix experience, you can sign up today at http://www.netflix.com/ps3.
I've been watching Netflix content on my PS3 for a while now through third-party software solution PlayOn, but I went ahead and signed up for a disc anyway. I'm not really thrilled about the disc requirement considering that PlayOn's take on streaming content involves embedding itself into the PS3's XrossMediaBar where it draws data from my PC which acts as a bridge between Netflix and the PS3. Flipping from game to movie and back has been a seamless operation, but if I use the official Sony/Netflix solution I'd have to — horrors! — get up from my chair and swap discs. I had hoped this service would come to the PS3 through a firmware update, but beggars can't be choosers.