No Netflix for Xbox Live-Averse

By  |  Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Xbox_NetflixThe Playstation 3’s upcoming support for Netflix isn’t enough to shake Microsoft, which will still require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to stream Netflix movies through the console.

IGN confirmed that Microsoft won’t offer Netflix streaming to users of the free Xbox Live Silver service, a bare-bones offering that doesn’t include online play, among other features. A Gold subscription costs $50 per year, while access to the Playstation Network has always been free, though both consoles require you to have a Netflix subscription as well.

The official line from Microsoft is that Xbox Live is “a generation ahead of the competition” despite the extra costs. A company representative cited Facebook, Twitter and support, which are coming soon, along with Netflix and the quiz show 1 vs. 100.

This argument seems to validate what I’ve said before, that Microsoft really wants to build a case for Xbox Live even if you don’t play too many games online. Multiplayer remains the best reason to grab an Xbox Live Gold subscription, but it’s not for everyone. Once Microsoft reaches for the casual crowd with Project Natal, other lures will be necessary.

None of Microsoft’s non-gaming incentives stand on their own, but when combined, Xbox Live Gold becomes attractive, and Netflix is a piece of the puzzle. That’s why the Microsoft representative used the phrase “best value in home entertainment” when referring to Xbox Live Gold as a whole. Microsoft can’t afford to diminish that value, even if parts of the service can be had for free elsewhere.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. ReynaldoRiv Says:

    I have FaceBook and Twitter on my PS3 right now. In fact I’m writing this very comment from my PS3 right this very moment. I’ve never seen the value of Xbox Live. What I’ve always seen is a hodgepodge of free services, and MS knew there’s a sucker born every day. Armed w/ that knowledge they decided to charge every Tom Dick and Harry with only half a brain stem for what was once free. I mean really, paying $50/year for (among other ridiculous “perks”) the “privilage” of getting a demo? COME THE FUCK ON!!! These things used to be free so WTF happened?

  2. tom b Says:

    I don’t see the value of Netflix on Xbox; the Xbox console is too noisy to provide a good movie experience.

  3. Marc Says:

    If the games were actually hosted by a server (like most PC games are) rather than by other people’s consoles then it would be worth it. As it is, most games are limited by the upstream bandwidth of the game’s host.

  4. Scott Says:

    I own a Wii, and an Xbox 360. It would be handy to stream netflix to my TV in another room using my Xbox, but there's no way I'm going to spend $60 to do that when my Wii already streams netflix for me for free. So Micro$oft wants to soak me for another $60, to use another service I pay about $20/month for… and my Wii lets me do that for free? I'll give you three guesses whose products I will be purchasing in the future!

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