PlayStation 3 Becomes Leading Device for Netflix Streaming
With the video game industry preparing for the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft to be launched by the end of this year, the entertainment landscape continues to evolve. There are more gamers out there around the world playing across multiple platforms. And when they’re not playing games, they’re using consoles like PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the new Wii U to watch entertainment.
According to Phil Rosenberg, senior vice president of business development at Sony Computer Entertainment America, more people stream Netflix content to their televisions via PS3 than any other device worldwide.
“PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on the official Sony PlayStation blog. “PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3.”
According to Michael Pachter, video game analyst, Wedbush Securities, Sony has an installed base of 23 million PS3s in the U.S., compared to Nintendo’s 40 million Wiis and Microsoft’s 36 million Xbox 360 consoles.
“I’m surprised that PS3 is No. 1, Iwould have thought it was Xbox 360,” said Pachter. “I have no idea whether Xbox is close behind when it comes to Netflix.”
“This is a major milestone, and one we’re particularly proud of considering the myriad Netflix-compatible streaming devices on the market, from other gaming consoles to smart TVs and internet-connected set-top boxes,” said Rosenberg.
Netflix launched on PS3 in November 2009 and the platform gave gamers early access to features like full 1080p video streaming with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. Netflix is currently using the PS3 to test “Max,” the new voice user interface. Netflix expanded to PlayStation Vita in February 2012, allowing users to seamlessly move across screens while watching entertainment. Netflix currently has over 30 million subscribers across all devices.
Sony separately announced that EPIX will be joining its entertainment offerings this quarter for PS3 followed by a spring launch for PS Vita. The EPIX app will provide authenticated subscribers with access to more than 3,000 titles, including a high definition lineup of new releases like Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol, The Hunger Games and Thor. The ability to stream full movies and other entertainment on the PS3 and PS Vita systems is included as part of the EPIX premium subscription service available through cable, satellite and telco distributors.
“Our core audience has demonstrated a tremendous appetite for streaming movies and TV shows through their PS3, and we’re excited to bring EPIX into the homes of millions of PS3 owners in the U.S. as well as to PlayStation fans on-the-go through their PS Vita,” said Rosenberg.
Game consoles, including the new Wii U, will continue to evolve with new entertainment offerings and multi-screen applications.
“The next generation of consoles will be even more integrated into the living room than the current generation,” said Pachter.