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Thursday, 14 January 2010 03:54

Wii will have Netflix streaming, yes Wii will

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It's official: starting this spring, Netflix customers with Wii consoles will be able to watch movies on demand streamed to their TVs.

The move has been anticipated for awhile, and the rumors were strengthened by reports out of last week's Consumer Electronics Show.

Now Nintendo and Netflix have confirmed that the service will launch in the U.S. sometime this spring and, like the existing Netflix streaming options, will be available at no extra cost to anyone with a Netflix account at US$8.99 per month and up.

Unlike the Microsoft Xbox 360 but like the Sony PS3, the Wii will need a "instant-streaming disc" (free to Netflix subscribers) in order to access the movies. The Wii will need a broadband Internet connection too, of course.

According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, "Our research shows that 86 percent of all U.S. Wii consoles are located in the living room. The Wii console is the social hub around which friends and family members gather to play games and have fun."

He did not say how many of those are already connected to the Internet. As my colleague Mike Bantick pointed out the other day, online gaming is not as big on the Wii as it is on the other consoles.

Furthermore, while the Xbox 360 comes with an AV cable that has component video connectors, the Wii only includes a composite video cable. That's fine for the cartoonlike graphics of most Wii games, but those who want to watch movies will also be shopping for a component video cable (about $20).


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