Wii getting Netflix streaming?


A report on Joystiq citing a Netflix user survey last year, Microsoft’s “New Xbox Experience” introduced a host of new features to the Xbox 360, including a new interface, avatars, and group chat. But perhaps the best received of the NXE additions was the integration of Netflix, whichallowed more than 1 million of the online rental service’s subscribers to stream films through the console.

Now it seems Netflix might begin offering its online catalog to Wii users, according to the Joystiq report. The gaming blog cites a Netflix user survey for the information, with the rental service apparently in search of feedback on one possible implementation of its streaming video program for Nintendo’s console.

The described program would require member Wii owners to run a “Netflix Instant Streaming Disc” on their system and would provide access to more than 12,000 movies and TV shows. A previous survey proposed a similar system, but with a $9.99 initial charge attached for the start-up disc.

It’s no secret that Netflix wants to get its goods to subscribers’ homes any way it can. An April job listing on the company’s site sought an “Engineering Leader–Gaming Platforms” to direct “a small technology team to rapidly prototype and iterate on a variety of platforms.” (Emphasis added.) The job description also said the ideal candidate would have experience on “one or more gaming consoles.”

Even if Netflix wants to partner up with Nintendo, there may be other obstacles to clear. For example, the company has plans to launch its own video streaming service, andNintendo president Satoru Iwata promised it would be quite different. The executive also added that if the program’s initial run in Japan were successful, Nintendo would likely take it overseas.

official word from Netflix “We’re always interested in expanding the Netflix streaming functionality, but Xbox 360 is the exclusive console for now.”–Steve Swasey, Netflix vice president of corporate communications.