I have not tried Netflix’s new video streaming service because I don’t have the new $99 Netflix box and I’m not a fan of watching video on my laptop – even though I do have a 24 inch monitor to connect it too. My problems are solved, this fall you’ll be able to stream Netflix movies directly to your X-Box 360. While Netflix’s selection of available content is pretty slim pickens, they do have a nice selection of TV programming like the complete Incredible Hulk TV Series. The service will be available at no extra cost. The 360 will be rocking this fall – and that’s not a plug for the upcoming Rockband 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour. It looks like MS is not ready to let Sony come in and still their thunder. With price cuts, all of these Xbox Live changes, MS is ready to fight the PS3 on it’s own multi-media turf. The content will be streamed in SD, but Netflix is working towards HD Screaming. The service will be available to Gold Members only.
It’s funny and ironic that I finally get around to starting the High Definition section on the site with the idea of trying to be as balanced as possible. Only to have the wheels fall off the HD-DVD band wagon. It started last month with Warner Brothers dropping the format, after that it was nothing but bad news for Toshiba’s format. And this week’s triple does of bad news – Netflix, Walmart, and Best Buy all dropping the format put a nail in the coffin. It was always a forgone conclusion that Toshiba would lose the war, if for no other reason than the PS3 including the Blu-ray drive into it’s system. Granted sales of the PS3 has been disappointing (for good reason, the system kind of sucks) comparatively speaking – in terms of game consoles, it had a big enough install base that it was almost double those who had HD-DVD players. For HD-DVD to succeed they really should have worked out a deal with MS to put the HD-DVD drive in the 360. If that happened, we would be talking about a totally different outcome now. I have both formats, but I was hoping HD-DVD would win, I still think it’s a better format and at least the freaking thing has a standard and you can upgrade it. The Blu-ray group is still trying to figure out it’s standards and half the players don’t have Ethernet ports so you can’t do firmware upgrades. But wait, it’s “funny” that the PS3 is “future” proof. Instead we’re now stuck with one format – Sony and for all practical purposes one player option – PS3. Sure there are other players, but considering you can’t upgrade most of them and there’s only a $50 difference between the cheapest Blu-ray player and the cheapest PS3, who would be dumb enough to get the stand alone player?
Already I’ve noticed that prices of Blu-ray DVDs have gotten ridiculously out of hand, you can no longer walk into a Best Buy, Target, Borders, etc. and expect to see a new release Blu-ray flick for $19.99, no these retailers have the gall to try and charge full retail prices. I was in Borders today and they had the Spiderman Blu-ray set for $99!! Really? Superbad was over $30.00 (when I say over $30, I mean like $35 – $39). Really? Resident Evil: Extinction over $30. Really??? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over $30. Really??? The only place you can still get Blu-ray for a reasonable price is Amazon and other online retailers. Not to mention the damn machines are still over $350! So yes, consumers, the color of Greed is Blu and we lose out again. Rumor has it the official announcement is coming later this week.