According to a recent announcement from Nintendo and Netflix, the Wii will join the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 in the ranks of Netflix enabled game consoles. Sometime in the Spring, you should be able to slide a Netflix disk into your Wii. That will enable you to watch thousands of “Instant Download” movies and TV shows. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime states, “The Wii console is the social hub around which friends and family members gather to play games and have fun. Soon both new and longtime Wii owners will enjoy the benefits of Netflix – and a variety of informational and entertainment options – by being Netflix members and connecting their consoles to the Internet.”
Reggie also states, “Our research shows that 86 percent of all U.S. Wii consoles are located in the living room.”
With over 27 million Wii consoles sold in the United States, that means 23 million are in a prime entertainment location. Although, an Internet connection is required to stream movies from Netflix. The Wii supports wireless connectivity, for connection to a wireless router. (If you prefer wires, an Ethernet adapter is available as an accessory.)
A Netflix subscription starts at $8.99 per month. You can go to http://netflix.com/wii to request notification of when Netflix will be available on the Wii.
“Our goal is to offer Netflix members as many ways as possible to watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix right to their TVs and to give non-members more and compelling reasons to consider the service,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “Joining forces with Nintendo, which has been so immensely popular with consumers since its introduction, is a very meaningful step in that direction.”
Commentary: Considering that the Wii is the only console (of the big three) that doesn’t include the ability to play DVD movies, this is a huge boon for Nintendo. However, the Wii’s maximum resolution is 480p. That might be a problem for fans of High-Definition. I’m excited about this, but I still haven’t taken advantage of Netflix on the PS3. I’ve gone to the Netflix website, but I haven’t seen an complete list of “Instant Download” movies and TV shows. If they’re making a fuss about old episodes of the A-Team, I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort. Although, I have seen a particle list and it looks pretty good. Maybe one day I’ll get around to trying a 14-day free trial. There’s a problem bigger than not liking Netflix. That would be liking Netflix! Do I really have enough free time for this?