During Microsoft's keynote presentation at E3 today, Microsoft announced an exclusive deal with Netflix where Xbox 360 Live users will have the ability to stream all content from Netflix's watch now service,
for FREE, to their consoles. Update: During the keynote Microsoft said this was free to Xbox Live members, and did not say anything about also having to be a Netflix customer. Now that the press release is out, it states you have to be a member of both. With a current install base of 10.3 million Xbox 360 units, and 12 million Xbox Live members, this won't make a huge impact on how movies are consumed, but it is a start. The real problem, which is the same one the Netflix Player by Roku has, is that today, Netflix has only 10% of their inventory, or 10,000 titles, current available for streaming via the Netflix watch now service.
Details on when this service will launch were not mentioned. I also wonder who's paying for all of the bits that are going to be delivered to Xbox 360 users for these movies? It's costing either Netflix or Microsoft something out of their pocket, especially since they use a CDN for the delivery. (
will confirm the CDN being used shortly if possible The CDN is Limelight)
Microsoft also announced that downloadable movies and TV shows from NBC/Universal will be available for the Xbox 360 as well "in the near future". Exact dates and shows were not announced, but I expect we'll hear more shortly as the keynote is still going.
In odd irony, I could not find a live stream of Microsoft's E3 keynote anywhere online. Just happened to be watching G4 TV today which was showing the keynote live. After looking everywhere, I did find the live stream on the G4 TV site, which is now on the home page.