Not until sometime in the spring
Last modified on Thursday, 14 January 2010 10:38
Netflix is finally officially confirming what we have known all along, which is that they are going to add support for streaming content to the Wii platform. As with the PlayStation 3 solution, the Wii solution will require the use of a disc to activate the streaming support as well as an Internet connection that is capable of supplying enough bandwidth for streaming the content.
While we hear that the actual introduction of Wii support will not arrive until spring, Netflix was not any more specific as far as a potential release date. When streaming does start, however, for the Wii platform, only Standard Definition (SD) content will be offered to Wii users because the Wii does not support hi-definition (HD) at the console level. We believe that Wii owners will not be able to stream HD content, and it will likely not even show up.
In order to get the streaming access you will need to be on a Netflix plan that is $9 or more per month. What perhaps is most ironic about the Netflix streaming support is how popular it has become. When first announced on the Xbox 360, many wondered actually how successful it would be and whether owners would flock to it. It will be interesting to see how well Netflix streaming will do on the Wii platform, as many believe that because of the Wii target audience it might lack the popularity that we have seen on other platforms.
With the release of the Wii version, Netflix has all of the consoles covered, as well as seeing their streaming support offered in a variety of other consumer devices such as standalone Blu-ray players, for example. In the long term, the positioning of Netflix as a leader in streaming support across multiple platforms has put the company ahead in the streaming content provider race and has made it more difficult now for others to offer streaming support by virtue of the fact that Netflix support is the established standard for so many platforms.