Netflix playing on Wii 'very soon'?

Tech analyst says he's received confirmation that Nintendo is already testing the movie-streaming service for launch later this year or early next.

Source: In a post on his blog, tech analyst Dan Rayburn said he'd received confirmation that Nintendo is already testing Netflix streaming for the Wii, with a release possible later this year.

What we heard: In his relatively brief blog entry, Rayburn said he'd received screenshots of Netflix up and running on the Wii. He added that after some effort, he received confirmation that the shots were authentic from someone involved in the project and that Nintendo is testing the Netflix service on its console for release "very soon."

Why go to the movies when the movies can come to you?

The rumor of Netflix coming to the Wii is nothing new. In June, Netflix sent out a customer survey to gauge interest in a Wii version of its streaming video service. Months earlier, the company posted a job opening for an engineer to oversee work on a variety of gaming platforms.

Just last month, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said it was the company's plan to eventually get his movie-rental company's streaming video service on all consoles. And with this week's announcement that Netflix is indeed arriving on the PlayStation 3, Nintendo's latest hardware is the last remaining console without official Netflix support. (Although it's not officially released yet, a Wii-compatible version of the third-party PC program PlayOn is in public beta and allows users to stream video from Netflix, as well as sites like Hulu and YouTube, to Nintendo's console.)

The biggest reason to doubt Rayburn's post is probably in his explanation of the Netflix launch's timing.

"What I'm hearing is that Nintendo originally planned to bring the Netflix service to the Wii before the end of this year, which still might take place, but that Nintendo is also considering holding off on the Netflix service until they release their next generation Wii HD unit in early 2010," Rayburn said.

Like Netflix on the Wii, the rumor of an HD-capable version of Nintendo's hardware has popped up multiple times in the past. Even putting aside the question of whether Nintendo would ever abandon its blue ocean strategy and compete with Microsoft and Sony on one of the biggest advantages their hardware has over the Wii, the "early 2010" time frame seems incredibly soon for the launch of an as-yet-unannounced new console.

However, as Nintendo demonstrated earlier today with the announcement of the DSi LL, the publisher has in large part successfully kept hardware revisions under its hat. Previously, when Square Enix's CEO recently talked about the next Wii, he pegged it as a 2011 release, as did a rumor about the system from last year. In his own note about the possibility of a Wii HD, Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter suggested a 2010 launch, though he didn't specify when.

The official story: Representatives with Netflix and Nintendo had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Barring unforeseen technical difficulties, Netflix on the Wii is decidedly not bogus. As for Rayburn, some of the info he's been given is suspect, but the Netflix tidbit isn't so far-fetched.

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53 comments
Nabsol
Nabsol

I really hope this is on both systems, just HD on the other one. I'm already not very interested in trading in my Wii and dishing in money just for HD and Netflix, which we already have.But if this is on normal, I'll be happy to download.

linkspetdragon
linkspetdragon

I can't help but wonder if this will help reduce or eliminate the cost for a XBL Gold subscription since netflix has been one of its biggest selling points. I seriously doubt it, microsoft being what it is...but I still can't help but wonder...or hope.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

It's been said enough times, but we need this or a similar service, available in the UK and rest of the EU...

invictuslemming
invictuslemming

The Wii outputs at standard definition 480p. The same resolution DVDs currently run at. To say there is no point in Netflix streaming to the Wii is a huge oversight. DVD's are still more than watchable from a quality viewpoint. Lets face it, more than half the population still use standard definition TVs and chances are if a Wii is hooked up in a games room for younger kids, its probably not connected to a massive HDTV.

Cabal23
Cabal23

@kamizuka google....Netflix.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@shani_boy101 My kids don't have an HDTV in their rooms. It's standard def. So having the option to stream movies for them into their bedrooms is a huge benefit. I don't trust them with the 360 or the PS3, but I do with the Wii (mostly because the 360 and PS3 are bulky and don't have a safe place to sit, while the Wii does). In general this is great because it gives me more devices to use the service on for multiple areas of the home. If Wii HD comes out next year and Netflix is only available on that, then I'll be disappointed. It definitely won't make me rush out to get the new hardware. _

NAWAF005
NAWAF005

i wana GameSphere or a Wii HD or something !!

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

what's the point of nextflix on a Wii? it'd be in crappy standard definition and there'd be no point.

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

Let's see . . . the Wii only goes to the most, currently up to 480p, so a Netflix stream can't go higher than that on the Wii. Since that means I'll use less of download limit Nazingly enforced by my ISP, I'll be able to enjoy the feature more. Okay, then, I'm all for it. So, about bringing Netflix to PSP, iPhone, DS, and Zune?

Insane_Survivor
Insane_Survivor

Lol, it doesn't matter. Wii sucks anyway and all the other consoles already have netflix (like ps3 and 360 :D).

monson21502
monson21502

netflix is a great feature to have. just becarefull mom or dad dont know its on there. or they could hog ur system.

painguy1
painguy1

they better fix the low bitrate issue

monson21502
monson21502

netflix channel lol, be nice if i hadnt sold my wii . my little brother would stop watching dinosquad on my 360:(

okassar
okassar

I was a loyal fan of Nintendo for a very long time, but once I bought a Wii.....o no no no.I wish the Wii was good and not a motion gimmick with bad graphics and terrible online because I wouldn't have sold it and this rumor would actually get me excited.

ChAoS_UNLEASHD
ChAoS_UNLEASHD

As if this even matters, it'll just be in the US only again.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Seems smarter if Netflix was added to the Wii HD but I would still like it on the Wii if it is good and works like the other systems. But graphics might not be as good as the 360 or ps3.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

At all that say there's a new Wii coming out. No, Square Enix was just talking about it, same with some analysts so I wouldn't worry.

willauqs
willauqs

couldn't this just be the same old wii with an hdmi port? i don't think this has to mean a completely new system

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

I am happy that all consoles will get to use Netflix. If they come up with a Wii HD, then I hope wii games can be played on the new Wii.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

There is no way they are coming out with a new Wii already! That would be a terrible business move.

Elite_Baller
Elite_Baller

whoa whoa whoa! wait a second here. they are coming out with another Wii already?!?!?!

Shawcross
Shawcross

@Jipset They have a ton of movies streaming in all varieties. They will never put new releases on their live stream though since Netflix is and will be a "dvd rental" website/service. I do think they will hold off till the HD Wii comes out though since Netflix is pushing more and more HD streaming content on their site. Would only be logical to wait till the Wii is pushing true HD graphics.

xXZak-ataKXx
xXZak-ataKXx

@Dualmask i would use it for ur ps3,it will prolly be better cuz the wii isnt as strong as the ps3.

xXZak-ataKXx
xXZak-ataKXx

it'll be nice to have for both my ps3 and 360,haaa y would you want anything else?

Jipset
Jipset

Hopefully they come out with better movies to stream.

superluigi96
superluigi96

I'm sure Microsoft isn't happy to hear that Netflix is cheating on it with... pretty much everyone else.

dukerav
dukerav

Just a matter of time.

my_chem_fan0
my_chem_fan0

When I heard that it was coming to PS3 I pretty much assumed that the Wii will soon be getting it.

gopulpfiction
gopulpfiction

hey... how about first adding online multiplayer for upcoming games like New Super Mario Bros?

Dualmask
Dualmask

That's what's up. Now I only have to decide whether I'm going to use it on my PS3 or my Wii. My Wii is already on more often than my PS3 anyway...

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I loved it when Netflix came to my 360 and I am glad to hear the service is coming to the PS3 and (hopefully) Wii. I'm no fanboy -- everyone should have access to HD streaming via Netflix. Netflix is great and want them to succeed.

Flint247
Flint247

Will the DS and PSP get Netflix also? :P

ChidoriBoyU
ChidoriBoyU

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

NuKkU
NuKkU

no surprise there

cjasko94
cjasko94

@atopp399 the next playstation console will have a built in phone

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

well, the 360 still has the link between windows media station and your live, so that you can transfer videos/music/etc. off your computer on to your TV via the Xbox...still, I'd rather have itunes compatibility with it, and for some reason the xbox likes to acknowledge my ipod shuffle, but not my itouch...

cjasko94
cjasko94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. An early 2010 Wii HD release seems unlikely. Notwithstanding, considering the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are already onboard, Netflix streaming on the existing Wii console would be most welcomed. One would hope Nintendo will use the same pricing scheme as Sony and make it available at no cost.

Flint247
Flint247

First 360, then PS3, now Wii? Sweet!

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Makes perfect financial sense for Netflix

ositoPERU
ositoPERU

No need to wait for HD Wii to come out, the service can benefit users with current Wii hardware. I don't own a Wii but a lot of people I know have it and the video stream from Netflix would probably look just fine for "normal" movies (especially since most movies aren't HD or remastered anyway...) I can easily see Netflix's user base artificially inflated by requiring that people who own more than one box have to open a new account from each box. Interesting things to come from Netflix service, looking forward to it.

atopp399
atopp399

Movies on a Wii would be DVD quality. Hardly bad looking and the majority of what people rent. That being said. Consoles are for playing video games in my opinion. Let's keep it at that. When you start adding stupid media center features it drives up the price of future consoles because companies will think they need to include everything but the kitchen sink in them.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

well, now that everyone has it, once again casual X360 users using it as media center can say: "Why I'm I paying for live again?" and hopefully quit paying their X360 tax.

GNWPCD
GNWPCD

Wow you will definitely need to have a better hook up with this though if that's the case. I'm all for it, even though if I were to do this I would do it via the PS3 version but if Wii were to do it as well that would be a good step for them. But I can't see the movies looking as good through a Wii hook up over the HDMI hook up of a PS3. We will see though. Seems like a rumor to me.