About that “exclusive” agreement with *Netflix* for streaming movies on the Xbox 360 that *Microsoft* was boasting about … It’s not so exclusive anymore. Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and *Sony* Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) have announced that Netflix’s streaming video service is coming to the PS3 next month.
Users that want access will need to get a free Blu-ray disc from Netflix that contains the company’s streaming software; that’s very different from its implementation on the Xbox 360, where Netflix is just a platform that’s accessible through Xbox Live. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter suggests that this could be because Netflix’s initial deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) included exclusive “on deck” access — meaning rivals like Sony (NYSE: SNE) or Nintendo can’t integrate Netflix directly into their consoles’ interfaces for now.
But in exchange for the extra step, PS3 owners will pay less to access Netflix; they’ll pay the $8.99 monthly subscription fee, but that’s all. In contrast, Xbox 360 owners need to pay both Netflix and Microsoft — the latter, around $50 annually for Gold access to Xbox Live — to stream movies on their consoles. That cheaper access to movies and TV shows will serve as another value proposition for the PS3 as the holiday shopping season draws near, since Sony just slashed the console’s price.
As far as non-game content, Microsoft has been leading the charge with the Xbox 360; it first signed with Netflix last year, and has since bundled Twitter and Facebook access into the Xbox Live interface. Sony has been stuck playing catch up, only recently scaling out the PlayStation Network’s library of movies and TV shows with thousands of clips from NBCU and MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA). Release.