But, what’s that you say…? Isn’t Sony shooting itself in the foot by offering Netflix users the opportunity to bypass the PlayStation Store’s selection of movies and television shows to access to their Netflix accounts instead? After all, Netflix users, for the second-lowest possible subscription fee (currently $8.99 DVD/$10.99 Blu-ray), have access to Netflix’s unlimited library of Instant Watch streaming media at no additional charge.
Soon, the DVD rental behemoth will be offering a much wider library of Instant Watch titles, including many in high-definition. With this in mind, it remains unclear how Sony will continue to corral PlayStation users into visiting their own proprietary shopping service for movie and TV content. Why buy HD/SD content when you can rent it, and why rent from Sony (priced much higher than that of the Netflix/Redbox pricing models) when you can watch VOD-styled content directly via your existing Netflix account. Sony’s probably quite thankful that Netflix doesn’t offer games.
Sony is obviously making a play for the 2009 holiday season and the future of its entertainment device by allowing Netflix to stream to the Playstation3. After all, LG and Samsung had already set up such a deal and moved beyond Netflix with the addition of Amazon-On-Demand, Pandora and other streaming or content download services for their current Blu-ray player models. Users of these players get VOD-styled cinema and television content via their regular Amazon or Netflix subscription or by purchasing content à la carte without setting up yet another additional account/virtual wallet.
Sony’s attempt to keep everything proprietary doesn’t seem to be working out (Apple still does this best), and it was time for them to keep up with consumer demand for streaming media or end up losing potential Blu-ray player customers who might also be potential gamers.