Netflix gets Kinect control

Microsoft announces movie-streaming service now can be controlled by motion-sensing system on Xbox 360, albeit in a limited fashion.

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When Kinect launched last November, the motion-sensing controller allowed players to navigate and control video content, such as ESPN programming, with their voice and gestures. However, the camera-based system couldn't be used in conjunction with one of the most popular video features on the Xbox 360, Netflix instant streaming.

Netflix--now with Kinect! (Sort of.)
Netflix--now with Kinect! (Sort of.)

Today, that changed. Microsoft announced this morning that Netflix on the Xbox 360 is now Kinect enabled. Xbox Live Gold members with a Netflix subscription and (naturally) a Kinect unit can use the service to instantly select, watch, pause, and play films.

However, today's announcement came with a caveat. It stated that players can "select from one of the recommended [Netflix] titles" on the Kinect hub and not a user's entire library. Gaming blog Kotaku found that once the recommendations are exhausted, the Xbox 360 prompts users to use their controllers to search for movies and draw up more choices.

Netflix, which boasts some 20 million users in the US and Canada, has been available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers since 2008. (It is now also available on the PlayStation 3 and Wii for free, and it will also be available on the 3DS this summer.) Currently, there are over 30 million Xbox Live subscribers, although Microsoft does not break down how many are paid (Gold) subscribers and how many use the service for free. As of March, over 10 million Kinects had shipped worldwide.

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