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Netflix Coming to the Wii

Netflix pulls the hat trick and brings its streaming movie service to the Nintendo Wii.

 Pretty sure you guys can just sit down and watch the movie.
Xbox 360's got it. PlayStation 3's got it. And, according to today's press release from Nintendo, the Wii will also soon have access to the Netflix streaming movie service. The release is currently set for this spring, and from the sound of it, users can expect an experience similar to what the PlayStation 3 offers, as it will require use of a Netflix boot disc, which will be provided to Netflix subscribers free of charge.

I'm a big fan of the Netflix service, though since I already get what I need out of the service through my 360, this announcement doesn't do much for me personally. Still, while the technical limitations of the system will presumably prevent proper HD streaming, there are a whole lot of Wiis out there, and this can only be a good thing for both Nintendo and Netflix. I will say, though, that it's kind of nuts to consider that you'll be able to stream movies to your Wii via Netflix, though you still can't watch a regular-ass DVD on it.
 
UPDATE: Netflix has launched its Wii disc request page, so if you've got a Wii and a Netflix subscription, head over and call dibs.

You can read the press release in its entirety below.

REDMOND, Wash. & LOS GATOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo of America Inc. and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq:NFLX] today announced an agreement that will allow Netflix members who are also owners of Nintendo’s Wii™ home console to instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix directly to their TVs. Netflix is scheduled to go live on the Wii console this spring in the United States at no additional cost to Netflix members who have a plan starting at $8.99 a month, a Wii console and a broadband Internet connection.

The partnership between the two companies will extend the reach of content streamed from Netflix farther than ever before, thanks to the mainstream popularity of the Wii console. Wii remains the fastest-selling home console in history, and reaches more consumers than any other device that currently supports streaming movies from Netflix. In December 2009, Nintendo sold well in excess of 3 million Wii consoles in the United States. Wii is the top-selling home video game system of this generation, and as such brings the Netflix experience to a broad and diverse mass market.

“Our research shows that 86 percent of all U.S. Wii consoles are located in the living room,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “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.”

“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.”

With 11.1 million U.S. subscribers as of Sept. 30, 2009, Netflix continues to expand the ways in which its members can watch movies and TV shows streamed directly to TVs via a range of Netflix-ready devices such as the Wii console. Netflix memberships start as low as $8.99 a month, and members also can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. At the same time, consumers continue to demonstrate a preference for Wii consoles, which offer tremendous value, whether measured in fun games, shared experiences or the suggested retail price of just $199.99.

To enable their systems to stream content from Netflix, Wii owners will need a Netflix instant-streaming disc for the Wii console, which will be available at no additional cost to Netflix subscribers. The free disc looks and operates the same as a disc-based Wii game, and the entire user experience will feel natural and intuitive to Wii console owners. Netflix members and Wii console owners can now reserve a free instant-streaming disc by going to www.netflix.com/Wii. Once available in the spring, the discs will be delivered for free by first-class mail.

When the instant-streaming disc is inserted into a member’s Wii system, an array of movie and TV choices will be displayed right on their TV screen. These titles will be conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members’ personal preferences and will include popular genres, new arrivals and members’ individual instant Queues. Using the Wii Remote™ controller, members will be able to choose a movie or TV episode to watch from their instant Queues or pick one directly from any of the lists. They will also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies, and will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding their selection.

Netflix adds another dimension to the Wii console’s diverse online features, which range from downloadable new and classic games in the Wii Shop Channel, to online multiplayer gaming with games like Mario Kart™ Wii, to video highlights and information about titles for the Wii and Nintendo DS™ systems via the Nintendo Channel™.

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Posted by Ryan
 Pretty sure you guys can just sit down and watch the movie.
Xbox 360's got it. PlayStation 3's got it. And, according to today's press release from Nintendo, the Wii will also soon have access to the Netflix streaming movie service. The release is currently set for this spring, and from the sound of it, users can expect an experience similar to what the PlayStation 3 offers, as it will require use of a Netflix boot disc, which will be provided to Netflix subscribers free of charge.

I'm a big fan of the Netflix service, though since I already get what I need out of the service through my 360, this announcement doesn't do much for me personally. Still, while the technical limitations of the system will presumably prevent proper HD streaming, there are a whole lot of Wiis out there, and this can only be a good thing for both Nintendo and Netflix. I will say, though, that it's kind of nuts to consider that you'll be able to stream movies to your Wii via Netflix, though you still can't watch a regular-ass DVD on it.
 
UPDATE: Netflix has launched its Wii disc request page, so if you've got a Wii and a Netflix subscription, head over and call dibs.

You can read the press release in its entirety below.

REDMOND, Wash. & LOS GATOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo of America Inc. and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq:NFLX] today announced an agreement that will allow Netflix members who are also owners of Nintendo’s Wii™ home console to instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix directly to their TVs. Netflix is scheduled to go live on the Wii console this spring in the United States at no additional cost to Netflix members who have a plan starting at $8.99 a month, a Wii console and a broadband Internet connection.

The partnership between the two companies will extend the reach of content streamed from Netflix farther than ever before, thanks to the mainstream popularity of the Wii console. Wii remains the fastest-selling home console in history, and reaches more consumers than any other device that currently supports streaming movies from Netflix. In December 2009, Nintendo sold well in excess of 3 million Wii consoles in the United States. Wii is the top-selling home video game system of this generation, and as such brings the Netflix experience to a broad and diverse mass market.

“Our research shows that 86 percent of all U.S. Wii consoles are located in the living room,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “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.”

“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.”

With 11.1 million U.S. subscribers as of Sept. 30, 2009, Netflix continues to expand the ways in which its members can watch movies and TV shows streamed directly to TVs via a range of Netflix-ready devices such as the Wii console. Netflix memberships start as low as $8.99 a month, and members also can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. At the same time, consumers continue to demonstrate a preference for Wii consoles, which offer tremendous value, whether measured in fun games, shared experiences or the suggested retail price of just $199.99.

To enable their systems to stream content from Netflix, Wii owners will need a Netflix instant-streaming disc for the Wii console, which will be available at no additional cost to Netflix subscribers. The free disc looks and operates the same as a disc-based Wii game, and the entire user experience will feel natural and intuitive to Wii console owners. Netflix members and Wii console owners can now reserve a free instant-streaming disc by going to www.netflix.com/Wii. Once available in the spring, the discs will be delivered for free by first-class mail.

When the instant-streaming disc is inserted into a member’s Wii system, an array of movie and TV choices will be displayed right on their TV screen. These titles will be conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members’ personal preferences and will include popular genres, new arrivals and members’ individual instant Queues. Using the Wii Remote™ controller, members will be able to choose a movie or TV episode to watch from their instant Queues or pick one directly from any of the lists. They will also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies, and will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding their selection.

Netflix adds another dimension to the Wii console’s diverse online features, which range from downloadable new and classic games in the Wii Shop Channel, to online multiplayer gaming with games like Mario Kart™ Wii, to video highlights and information about titles for the Wii and Nintendo DS™ systems via the Nintendo Channel™.

Staff
Posted by WilliamRLBaker

whats funny is the fact that a netflix plan lower then 8.99 offers no online streaming lol.

Posted by Systech

The streaming will likely be of poor quality.

Posted by LordAndrew

"When the instant-streaming disc is inserted into a member’s Wii system, an array of movie and TV choices will be displayed right on their TV screen."
Yes, I think we're all familiar with how the Wii can make images appear on the TV screen.

Posted by MeatSim

More power to the people I guess.

Posted by JJOR64

Smart move Netflix.  Smart move.

Posted by r0k1ll

Wow. I care so much. Maybe if you only own a wii, but still.

Posted by Milkman

This is pretty crazy. Never would I have expected the Wii to have Netflix...

Posted by Microshock
@WilliamRLBaker: It does. The 5 dollar plan gives you 2 hours of streaming
Edited by moelarrycurly

Doesn't surprise me, but I can't make myself care.  My PS3 already handles Netflix duty. 
 
It's great for people who only have a Wii though.

Posted by AjayRaz

huh...

Posted by TheGreatGuero

Very cool. This is a good answer to the whole problem the Wii has with being unable to play DVD movies. Hopefully it works well enough.

Posted by Crono

The movies will all be re-cast with your Miis!

Posted by Turbo_Toaster

Cool, another place where I won't have access to Netflix because I'm a filthy Canadian.

Posted by SgtReznor
wait, so after Nintendo doing the whole "no, you can't play regular DVDs because we're strictly a gaming console, we have no intention on making a media centre" routine, they're now doing this?
 
@Turbo_Toaster said:
" Cool, another place where I won't have access to Netflix because I'm a filthy Canadian. "
dude, try living in Australia. We get it even worse than you guys.
Edited by LordAndrew
@Turbo_Toaster: :(
Are there any similar services that serve Candians, or do they all cut off access to their northern neighbours? I'm sure there are plenty of people up here that would love a service like Netflix.
 
  @SgtReznor said:

" dude, try living in Australia. We get it even worse than you guys. "

Yeah, but that's an entirely different continent. Canada's right next to the US and we still get screwed over by companies that just don't seem to care. :(
Posted by Raven_Sword

Yeah, its absolutely rediculous that Nintendo for Two gens in a Row opted out of a DVD player. It makes since I guess for teh Gamecube, since it didnt use DVDs, but rather some kind of Mini disc, but the Wii really had no excuse for not being able to play DVDs. Teh Games are on DVDs, for goodness sake.
Posted by RHCPfan24

Other consoles do it better but this is good news. I still can't believe there is no DVD support though. Very strange...

Posted by PJ

Not interrested, mostly because I live in Europe but even so. I would rather have Netflix on 360/PS3 since even if the streams are the same quallity the 360/PS3 ones will look better because they go through a HDMI rather then Component(that washes out the colors pretty badly and isnt as sharp compared to HDMI) or as it is for 99% of Wii owners, a Composite AV Cable.

Posted by Daryl

That caption is the best thing about this article.

Posted by wefwefasdf
@RHCPfan24 said:
" Other consoles do it better but this is good news. I still can't believe there is no DVD support though. Very strange... "
Yeah, I was puzzled by that when it first launched.
Posted by MjHealy

Its on all three systems but not avalible in Europe....

Posted by HaltIamReptar

I have a computer with a fairly large monitor.  This is completely useless for me.  It's the thought that counts, I suppose.

Posted by Skald

If all you have is a Wii, I would suggest using a PC instead.

Posted by BloodRavyne

I don't see how this is gonna work. The Wii can't handle youtube videos that go longer than 5 mins or else you get a not enough memory thing pop up. So how is it gonna handle streaming movies?

Posted by lilarchie232

Man that is so crazy, you can stream movies, but not a physical DVD.

Posted by MannAlive

So my Wii, which runs out of memory when my wife tries to load a page from Stereogum in the web browser, is going to stream Apocalypse Now for me?  I think I'll stick to 360 streaming, thanks.
 
And I'm pretty sure the other 14% of Wiis are in the closet.  I can just never get excited about playing a game on my Wii -- though I did play some No More Heroes today.

Posted by Evilsbane

Netflixs isn't stupid think about it they have the market by the balls now.

Posted by Brackynews
@LordAndrew: It's not true that service companies don't care, they absolutely care about making money and adding millions of potential customers.
The legal issues for multi-country licensing, particularly entertainment are hairy.  Proximity doesn't matter, it's negotiations and lawyers, and the MPAA, and differences in copyright law that slow it all down.
 
The Canadian and U.S. iTunes stores aren't the same either, and it's the same reason you can't easily log in to another country's store. 
Amazon.com will not ship anything in the video game category to Canada, even products that are not software.  U.S. Marketplace sellers aren't supposed to either, unless they have a Canadian account.  Many of the game titles stocked are indeed licensed for North American distribution, but they have Amazon.ca specifically so that they can maintain separate inventories and reduce their liability risk.  Simply shipping a game here without French instructions is enough to heat up the water if it gets reported.  eBay by comparison doesn't sell product themselves, and historically doesn't like to get involved in transactions unless a problem is reported.
 
And no I'm not a lawyer, yet. :)
Posted by CrazedJoker

Well... I have it for the Xbox 360 and PS3... Why not the Wii, right?

Posted by demontium

Could care less.

Posted by teh_destroyer

I have it for my xbox, yeah sure. But still getting it for the wii so that I can use it on there too if need be.

Posted by Willy105

Shame I use Redbox and not Netflix.
 
But it was odd having Netflix on the Wii last.

Posted by captain_clayman

huh. 
weird. 
 
...the wii still can't (legally) play dvd's, but now it has netflix?

Posted by FuzzYLemoN

Online video streaming on the Wii?
Get out of my house you crazy wizard.

Posted by LordAndrew
@Brackynews: Maybe they do care and have good reasons for their decisions, but I like making a big deal out of things for no real reason. :D
Posted by demontium
@Willy105 said:
" Shame I use Redbox and not Netflix.
 
But it was odd having Netflix on the Wii last. "
Not really, Nintendo seems to be not very concerned in those areas.
Posted by Claude

The machine that only plays games can now play movies. That's just crazy.

Posted by Linkyshinks

The Japanese have similar option on their Wii's. I wonder if European content providers will follow suit.

Posted by demontium
@Linkyshinks said:
" The Japanese have similar option on their Wii's. I wonder if European content providers will follow suit. "
How's Europe??
Posted by Willy105
@demontium said:
" @Willy105 said:
" Shame I use Redbox and not Netflix.
 
But it was odd having Netflix on the Wii last. "
Not really, Nintendo seems to be not very concerned in those areas. "
But Netflix is. And the Wii has the largest casual audience of the three. Also, the Wii plays TV shows in Japan.
Posted by demontium
@Willy105 said:
" @demontium said:
" @Willy105 said:
" Shame I use Redbox and not Netflix.
 
But it was odd having Netflix on the Wii last. "
Not really, Nintendo seems to be not very concerned in those areas. "
But Netflix is. And the Wii has the largest casual audience of the three. Also, the Wii plays TV shows in Japan. "
Thats all true but the Wii has technical limitations.
Posted by Willy105
@demontium said:
" @Willy105 said:
" @demontium said:
" @Willy105 said:
" Shame I use Redbox and not Netflix.
 
But it was odd having Netflix on the Wii last. "
Not really, Nintendo seems to be not very concerned in those areas. "
But Netflix is. And the Wii has the largest casual audience of the three. Also, the Wii plays TV shows in Japan. "
Thats all true but the Wii has technical limitations. "
Not for this.
Posted by Meteora
@SgtReznor said:
" wait, so after Nintendo doing the whole "no, you can't play regular DVDs because we're strictly a gaming console, we have no intention on making a media centre" routine, they're now doing this?
 
@Turbo_Toaster said:
" Cool, another place where I won't have access to Netflix because I'm a filthy Canadian. "
dude, try living in Australia. We get it even worse than you guys. "
Corporations always become hypocrites and turn their backs on what they just said, so its really no surprise.
Posted by Emilio
@extremeradical said:
" If all you have is a Wii, I would suggest using a PC instead. "
Why? That's incredibly stupid. 
Why not watch Netflix on... oh.... let me think... Your TV so everyone can watch? WHAT!? THAT IS ABSURD!!
Posted by WilliamHenry
@Brackynews said:
" @LordAndrew: It's not true that service companies don't care, they absolutely care about making money and adding millions of potential customers. The legal issues for multi-country licensing, particularly entertainment are hairy.  Proximity doesn't matter, it's negotiations and lawyers, and the MPAA, and differences in copyright law that slow it all down.  The Canadian and U.S. iTunes stores aren't the same either, and it's the same reason you can't easily log in to another country's store.  Amazon.com will not ship anything in the video game category to Canada, even products that are not software.  U.S. Marketplace sellers aren't supposed to either, unless they have a Canadian account.  Many of the game titles stocked are indeed licensed for North American distribution, but they have Amazon.ca specifically so that they can maintain separate inventories and reduce their liability risk.  Simply shipping a game here without French instructions is enough to heat up the water if it gets reported.  eBay by comparison doesn't sell product themselves, and historically doesn't like to get involved in transactions unless a problem is reported.  And no I'm not a lawyer, yet. :) "
Thanks for writing all this. It baffles me that people still think companies nix off certain countries on purpose.
Posted by LordAndrew
@DivineCC said:
" @Brackynews said:
" @LordAndrew: It's not true that service companies don't care, they absolutely care about making money and adding millions of potential customers. The legal issues for multi-country licensing, particularly entertainment are hairy.  Proximity doesn't matter, it's negotiations and lawyers, and the MPAA, and differences in copyright law that slow it all down.  The Canadian and U.S. iTunes stores aren't the same either, and it's the same reason you can't easily log in to another country's store.  Amazon.com will not ship anything in the video game category to Canada, even products that are not software.  U.S. Marketplace sellers aren't supposed to either, unless they have a Canadian account.  Many of the game titles stocked are indeed licensed for North American distribution, but they have Amazon.ca specifically so that they can maintain separate inventories and reduce their liability risk.  Simply shipping a game here without French instructions is enough to heat up the water if it gets reported.  eBay by comparison doesn't sell product themselves, and historically doesn't like to get involved in transactions unless a problem is reported.  And no I'm not a lawyer, yet. :) "
Thanks for writing all this. It baffles me that people still think companies nix off certain countries on purpose. "
They're all out to get us. :P
Posted by rjayb89

I now have four Netflix machines!

Posted by WilliamRLBaker
@Microshock said:
" @WilliamRLBaker: It does. The 5 dollar plan gives you 2 hours of streaming "
really? hmm i guess im wrong.
Posted by carlthenimrod

It's cool that the Wii is getting it and all, but having to put a disc in to access it is fuckin' terrible.

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