Print 35 comment(s) - last by SiliconJon.. on Aug 13 at 1:23 PM

Xbox 360 will be the only game console to stream Netflix content

Microsoft frequently rolls out updates for the Xbox LIVE service that adds new features for Xbox owners. The latest update for Xbox Live is coming soon with some features set to roll out this week. Starting on August 13, Xbox owners will be available to browse and purchase Games on Demand on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The update also adds a new Avatar Marketplace that will offer props for Avatars and the ability to download and purchase premium items like clothing for the player's avatar. The slick Netflix streaming service is also getting an update that adds new features like Party Watch that lets users watch a show with friends at the same time if the movie is supported. Content search is improved in the update and the playback experience is reportedly improved as well.

One key announcement that Microsoft has made in conjunction with details on the new Live Update is to reveal that the Xbox 360 will be the only game console that is able to stream Netflix content. Microsoft has announced that it has an exclusive partnership with Netflix. That means owners of the Wii and PS3 waiting to join the Netflix streaming service are out of luck.

Account management features will be updated to prompt subscribers to renew their Windows Live IDs and subscriptions when they expire. Gold member Veterans will also get a special card and may get other unnamed perks as well.

The update adds various fixes to the console's video display options to make viewing content in the highest supported resolution easier to do. User ratings are being tightly integrated into XBOX Live allowing users to rate content on the Marketplace with a 5-star system and games and other content will be sortable by these ratings.

Various improvements are being made with the UI with the dashboard being reorganized to make finding things easier. Xbox Live Community Games has been renamed Xbox Live Indie Games, and achievement tracking and an achievement browser is available as well. Microsoft says that ore features are coming this fall with integration of Facebook, Twitter,, and Zune Video in the Xbox Live features.

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RE: Bummer on the exclusivity
By Iaiken on 8/12/2009 2:42:03 PM , Rating: 2

The only advantage to the 360 model is that you just need the console with an internet connection... and a subscription to XBL... and a subscription to Netflix...

The nice thing about playon is that you can stream from multiple providers... and it doesn't require a subscription to XBL... and many of those providers are FREE.

That and "exclusive" isn't the ironclad chastity belt it used to be...

RE: Bummer on the exclusivity
By SiliconJon on 8/13/2009 1:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
I have playon, and it's not bad, but unreliable, and now it's a bit expensive though I paid $30 for it some time ago and I have found it worth the price I paid. But it breaks too frequently, though I also need to run a hardline to improve its performance as my wireless routers just don't cut it.

What these content provides need are native support for these powerful gaming consoles as there's no reason I should need to have a dedicated PC running to decode this, using extra power and bandwidth, when my PS3 is fully capable of taking the lower bandwidth encoded stream across my wireless network and using its own horsepower to decode.

But they're too scared of change (RIAA anyone?). I'm not willing to pay for tv subscriptions that are ad-revenue based. I say pick one or the other, or I'll do without. However, so many people willing to pay for advertising soaked feeds is a monsterous profit for many. So long as people are willing to pay subscription fees for advertisements, change will be undesired.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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