The tale of Netflix on the PS3 is sad: Sony’s solution is only now shipping after sitting pretty on the Xbox for more than a year, and to add insult to injury, it comes on a disc. Thankfully, it’s slick.
The interface is technically new in that it’s visually catered to the PS3, but it should look familiar to anyone who’s used a Blu-ray player or connected TV with a Netflix widget. This means it’s pretty basic: so far as I can tell there are just “Instant Queue” and “Recently Watched” tabs, with none of the additional — though admittedly kind of useless — category views Xbox users are used to, and video navigation is unchanged with the same visual timeline taking care of FF and RW funtions. One thing Xbox users aren’t used to, though, is not having to pay for the privilege: Netflix-subscribed PS3 owners can just order a free disc and be done with it; Xbox owner need to have a paid Live subscription as well. (Ballmer’s gotta eat, right?)
In any case, the experience is smooth from start to finish, with a fast-loading interface and the same near-instant streaming you get on any other platform. It’s just a shame you need a disc — until this is part of the PS3 firmware, it’ll feel more like a hack than a new feature. [Engadget]