Netflix to Offer Streaming Video on the Nintendo Wii

Netflix is set to announce today that its streaming video service will launch on the Nintendo Wii games console this spring, providing it with distribution in a potential 26 million additional US homes (note: the Wii is currently the most popular games console in the US). The company has previously secured distribution deals for the service through the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 games consoles, as well as through Roku OTT set-tops, TiVo DVR's and a number of other devices and platforms. "The launch of the Wii is a huge step forward for Netflix," Netflix founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, said in a prepared statement. "With the installed base of over 26 million, all WiFi equipped, that's almost one in four American homes. It's a big step forward in our digital evolution." Added Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime: "This partnership with Netflix really allows us to give our consumers an extra benefit at no added incremental cost and take advantage of the time they are gathered in the main living room in front of the TV."

In order to implement Netflix streaming on the Wii, Netflix subscribers (note: the company's Unlimited plan is priced from $8.99 a month) will have to insert a free "instant-streaming" disc that Netflix plans to mail to its subscribers in the spring (note: accessing Netflix through the PlayStation 3 also requires the insertion of a disc). HD will not initially be supported, though Nintendo is believed to be planning to launch an HD version of the Wii next year. According to Netflix, nearly 50% of its subscribers are now taking advantage of its video streaming service

North America