Looks like the rumors are true: Netflix instant streaming on the PS3 will soon be a native application on Sony’s console, thus meaning Netflix streaming on PS3 will be possible without using a disc.
Sony today confirmed that that streaming from Netflix will be available on the PS3 system as a native application on October 18. That date applies to the United States only. No information was available as to when the functionality would be available worldwide.
Prior to this upcoming PS3 update, instantly watching movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix required an instant streaming disc. With the Oct. 18 update, Netflix videos can be streamed directly from the XMB (XrossMediaBar) menu.
In other, related news, Sony, Dolby and Netflix today announced that the PS3 system will be the first consumer electronics device to support 5.1-channel surround sound on movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix.
But those aren’t the only PS3/Netflix updates today. Here are a few more that will be coming to PS3 owners with Netflix memberships — for no additional cost to their Netflix monthly subscription:
- Movies and TV shows from Netflix will be accessible from PS3’s XMB menu under a new Netflix icon under the Video category. To access Netflix, PS3 owners will need to sign-in with their PSN account.
- Support for Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel surround sound will enable users to experience premium-quality audio.
- A new user interface, including the recently added search functionality, will deliver a much richer and faster browsing experience, making it easier to find the specific titles you’re looking for or to discover new content.
- Some movies and TV shows will be viewable in 1080i resolution, offering an enhanced visual experience as more consumers adopt HDTVs.
- The amount of time to start playback will be improved.
- An increasing number of movies and TV shows will be viewable with subtitles or alternate audio tracks
Netflix has been available since November 2009 to U.S. PS3 owners who are Netflix members, and since last month in Canada, when Netflix launched the service there.