Nintendo and Netflix (NFLX) are announcing Wednesday that the Wii game console will be able to stream movies from the video rental company. The Wii is the most popular of the current generation of consoles, which also includes the Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony (SNE) PS3. Netflix already offers its streaming video service over both the Xbox and PS3, so adding the Wii gives the film-renting leader access to all of the most popular video-game systems.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%% According to The New York Times, "The service lets subscribers choose from a catalog of generally older movies and television shows and watch them instantly."
Netflix has 11 million subscribers, according to its last 10-Q, but those subscribers use the service primarily to rent DVDs online that are then delivered by mail, a business model that Netflix acknowledges may become outmoded as more consumers get feature-length video content over the Internet.
That's where the competition is sure to get more intense in coming years. Streaming video to TVs and PCs already offered by a number of companies, including Amazon (AMZN). All major cable companies also offer video-on-demand services through their set-top boxes. Netflix is betting that its agreements with the video-game console makers will give it faster and more complete entree to viewers' living rooms.
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