Netflix Throwdown: PS3 vs Xbox 360

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posted 11/11/2009 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
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For the last year or so, Microsoft has enjoyed an exclusive entertainment benefit over their counterparts at Sony with the ability to stream Netflix content through the Xbox 360. However, that all changed on October 26th, 2009 when Sony announced that they were bringing Netflix to the Playstation 3 sometime the following month. While the news was mostly met with praise, there were many wondering how the two services would stack up,especially after learning that a physical disc would be needed to launch Netflix on the PlayStation 3 instead of the dashboard integration that the Xbox 360 utilizes.

Having a PS3, Xbox 360 and a Netflix account, I was excited about the news like many, but definitely apprehensive about the physical disc delivery method. Microsoft had a full-year head start to not only launch, but also refine their Netflix service into an elegant interface woven directly into the Xbox 360 dashboard. When initially digesting the news, it certainly felt as if Sony was putting forth a hasty attempt at the first opportunity to get into the Netflix market rather than a full-fledged effort. Regardless, I signed up to receive the PS3 disc from Netflix the same day it was announced and received it on Friday, November 6th, much sooner than I anticipated.

The disc came in the familiar Netflix red envelope, but had PS3 branding all over it. This branding was done intentionally to differentiate it because this disc doesn’t go back like a normal Netflix disc does. You hold onto it because it will need to be inserted into your PS3 every time you want to stream Netflix. After opening the envelope, you will find more PS3 branding on the sleeve and disc and what appears to be a standard CD-rom that contains the actually Netflix launch program.


One thing I was curious about was where on the Playstation 3 XrossMediaBar would the Netflix interface be located? I assumed the video section based on the disc needed to launch, but it could also have shown in the area with PSN and Home. After inserting the disc and letting it load up, I did locate it right where any other DVD or Blu-Ray disc is found under the Video icon.

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