There are a lot of devices out there that will put Netflix on your television. Roku boxes will handle the job, the Xbox 360 will do it, the PlayStation 3 will do it, any number of Blu-ray players will, even some televisions will offer Netflix capability. One of those devices just listed turned out to be the main device people used in their living rooms for Netflix streaming, and it may not be the one you expected.
Netflix announced via its blog that, when it comes to Netflix streaming, more people worldwide turn to their PlayStation 3 than any other device. In both the United States, and around the world, as Netflix describes it, "PS3 is the largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing". Perhaps more unusual is the further revelation that "at times, PS3 even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall.”
Image via www.playstation.com
This is likely to surprise plenty of people, especially those home theater enthusiasts out there who use other devices for their Netflix connectivity. But Netflix had plenty of support; first, the PS3 has a sufficiently robust hardware profile to make it a good platform for movies, a good chunk of why its early marketing had it poised as an entertainment device with Blu-ray capability.
It's also packing in 1080p HD video, 5.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus, subtitle access, easy updates, and more. Additionally, while the Xbox 360 is gaining ground as a full-featured entertainment device, it's lagging in one critical respect: ease of access. The PS3 allows its users to use a Netflix app at no charge, while the Xbox 360 locks theirs behind the paywall of Xbox Live Gold, essentially requiring users to pay a fee to access a service they already pay a fee to access.
The Xbox Live Gold connection has proven troublesome for Microsoft more than once--a fee to access YouTube (News - Alert), free on any PC? Unthinkable!--and it's enough to make some wonder if they won't be dropping that particular functionality with the next system release. Data certainly supports such an approach; with both systems now low in price thanks to their advanced age and system availability, those with both in their houses are a fairly wide number, and Sony's ruling the roost in Netflix. Will that color peoples' buying decisions when the PS4 / Xbox 720 duel starts up in earnest likely in 2013? Will that be a chance Microsoft (News - Alert) wants to take?
Naturally, only time will tell just what route Microsoft takes in response to the news that Sony's actually on top of a ranking for a change, but if it's not at least being considered, it would certainly be a surprise.
Edited by Brooke Neuman