Netflix on the Wii: The First Reviews Are In

Netflix started to send out a first shipment of Wii disks last week, making it possible to access its watch Instantly online video on demand offering on the gaming console. A few Netflix customers have already shared their first impressions, and the verdicts are mixed. There are complaints about the video quality, which is much lower than on other Watch Instantly platforms, but others are pretty happy with what’s possible.


Dave Zatz dug up this video review
of the service on YouTube that, albeit being a little slow and at times suffering from low video quality itself, shows off a lot of the functionality of Watch Instantly on the Wii. Marcus Penn, who shot the video with the help of his cell phone, appears a little underwhelmed by the video quality of the service, explaining that some titles looked much better on his Tivo’s Netflix client.

Newteevee reader Matt Hendry sent us his own take on the service, and he was much more forgiving: “(T)he experience is great overall and there was no buffering on my DSL connection like I get with my PC with Netflix and streaming shows on my old Xbox via XBMC,” he wrote, musing that Netflix must have done a lot to optimize streaming for the Wii. One should note that Wii streaming is done at a much lower bit rate that PC-based streams, which could explain some of the buffering as well.

Hendry did complain about the lack of volume control, and also took issue with the fact that there are no parental controls available for the service. We asked Netflix about this, and the company’s VP of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey got back to us, explaining that the company currently doesn’t have any direct parental control features for Watch Instantly, be it on the Wii or any other platforms.

What’s your take on Netflix on the Wii? Are you bothered by the lack of HD, or happy to finally have another way to access Watch Instantly? Let us know in the comments!

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