News Article

Netflix Might Make It To Wii Yet

Posted by Luke Westaway

CEO says movie-streaming service has an "excellent" chance of appearing on a Nintendo console

In his answer to an on-stage question at CES in Las Vegas, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated that the popular online-streaming service for movies has an "excellent" chance of coming to a Nintendo console. Rumours of such a tie-in have been flying around for several months now, and this seems to seal the deal.

No actual dates were given, and there's still some ambiguity concerning Hastings' phrasing of the announcement - Netflix coming to "Nintendo" rather than the Wii specifically could mean that they're holding back until the release of Nintendo's hypothetical next console, or the fabled "Wii HD."

Netflix is currently a US-only service, so if this does get released anytime soon then UK users can expect to be excluded from the fun – though Netflix officials have hinted over the years that they would like to expand their service into Europe.

The BBC's iPlayer already works fantastically well on the Wii, and with SkyPlayer, 4OD and Virgin all proving that on-demand entertainment is the future, this kind of collaboration could be vital to Nintendo in the coming years. Netflix is already available in one form or another on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Is it about time Nintendo owners got their hands on some movie-streaming goodness? Is the Wii's hardware capable of doing justice to the latest blockbuster releases? Comments in the box, please.


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User Comments (36)



LinktotheFuture said:

Might need to wait for the next generation to make this worthwhile, unless you don't care about HD movies.



V8_Ninja said:

I'll just wait for the next console before laying down any Wii points on a movie.



ReZon said:

I doubt I'd use it. Also, it seems a little late to be starting this, doesn't it? If this had been available a couple of years ago, they might have snagged some money from me.



IlikeVideoGames said:

I do not own anything HD and wont until my current stuff quits so that does not effect me. Netflix is awesome and over 50% cheaper than going to the movie store. I watch some stuff on my PC. Really have no need for it on my Wii but I am sure a ton of people would welcome it.



vonboysp said:

since i now have netflix, i'd love this service on the wii. i don't care if it's not in hd (if it was, my internet probably couldn't stream it anyway :b).



Tails said:

I'd love to see if whether its on this system or the next system. This would make it so i don't have to use my PS2 to watch dvds anymore or my Laptop. HD doesn't matter to me.



LinktotheFuture said:

I am surprised by how many people don't care about HD. I guess it won't really matter, at least for the people on this site anyway.



Objection said:

The Wii's wifi and streaming isn't good enough for this, at least in my experience. This is likely news for the Wii HD or Wii2.



jangonov said:

I have it on my PS3 360 and my laptop. While I welcome it for other users, I personally doubt I will bother with it.



City_Of_Delusion said:

Considering the BBC iPlayer works surprisingly well with movies (I watched The Increadables on it the other week), I can't see why Netflix wouldn't work on the Wii, at least in SD. Although my connection is a little flaky (the last five minutes of said movie had buffering problems), so I probably would pass on this (plus, UK and all that).



edofthe209 said:

As nifty as this would be, I've got VOD with my cable provider and it has a decent selection of pay, free, and subscription (HBO, Starz, Showtime, etc) programming that I wouldn't really have much use for this.



Sylverstone said:

Would be nice on Wii since my family uses the service.

But the Wii can barely stream decent quality YouTube vids without running out of memory so "Wii2/Wii HD" would be a nice fit whenever Nintendo begins to talk about new consoles.



RyuZebian said:

Movie streaming for the DS2 would be awesome, comined with 3G connectivety which has been in the talks as well...



BulbasaurusRex said:

Sounds good if it comes for the current Wii. I don't even have an HD TV (and my family, myself included, doesn't see any reason to get one any time soon), so I certainly don't care about HD consoles.

By the way, is Netflix cheaper than Red Box ($1.00 + tax per movie)?



JonWahlgren said:

@Bulbasaurus: The cheapest unlimited streaming plan clocks in at $8.99/mo (plus you get one disc out), so depending on how much you wind up watching I'd say it can blow Red Box out of the water.



Blue_Protoman said:

Mario's favorite move is the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Am I really the first person to make this joke?



ToastyYogurt said:

Usually we would have to hook a laptop up to our T.V. to watch Netflix, so I would welcome the possiblilty of a Netflix Channel with open arms.



Junior117 said:

If the Wii can handle Wii No Ma (mind you, this is a movie delvery service as well)... then yes, then the Wii can handle Netflix.



JakobG said:

Well, I can't care. I live in one of the least streaming-involved country known. There aren't even any movies in the iTunes store available.



Sean_Aaron said:

Wii No Ma works very well as does the iPlayer. The only streaming issues I've had are with the Japanese Nintendo Channel and Wii no Ma buffering, but that's understandable given I'm trying to stream from servers on the other side of the world.

I would love a video on demand service. In the past I saw little point, but the fact is that Blockbuster's poor business practices (threatening letters if a film is a day late and ludicrous fees?) and the promise of a wider selection make this prospect quite appealing. Maybe could do a similar thing for the UK?



Mach-X said:

To answer the streaming question, doesn't netflix save to the xbox hard drive before you can watch? Could that be possible for an SD card, or is SD too slow to watch a movie from.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Mach-X: I would expect any Netflix Channel to do like the Nintendo or Internet Channels and create a cache file where the content could be saved to prior to playback -- it would likely depend upon how Netflix wants to handle it. From what I recall Wii no Ma does more buffering than the Nintendo Channel which will often pause to download more (or because the stream is being interrupted).

I think the problem from a development viewpoint is whether to make users wait for an entire stream to download and risk irritating them or start playback right away and risk their experience suffering due to problems with their connection.



Nintendokid said:

I went to I put in the search bar List of Wiiware games & Wii Channels & I found out that a new Wii Channel called Wii Video on Demand Channel released in Japan May 1st & that it's coming this year to Europe & North America but not Australia cause they have the BBC Iplayer Channel & it's only fair for all region's to have a video on Demand service.

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