Netflix PS3 Requires Disc Until 'Late Next Year'

BOOM widget 87491 Fresh off the announcement that Netflix is bringing its video streaming service to PlayStation 3 in November, the company has revealed some additional details.

While PlayStation 3 owners will initially have to use a free disc to access the service, the company told Joystiq that should change "late next year" with the debut of a downloadable Netflix application for PlayStation 3.

Netflix explained that it went with the disc because it "represented the fastest and easiest way" to bring the service to PlayStation 3, and added that the streaming on PlayStation 3 should be identical to that of the Xbox 360 in terms of content and functionality.

The Xbox 360 added Netflix video streaming in 2008 through a free software download, though it required users to have bought or redeemed an Xbox Live Gold membership in addition to the expected Netflix account. While PlayStation 3 streaming will still require a Netflix membership, there will be no additional charges on the console itself.

As for why it will take close to a year to craft the downloadable version for PlayStation 3, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pacther believes it's due to a contract with Microsoft.

"We believe that the exclusive arrangement limits Netflix's ability to appear on the 'dashboard' for the PS3 or the Wii," he explained. "We anticipate that a similar arrangement will be announced for the Wii in the next 12 months."

Netflix recently noted its intent to bring the streaming service to "all the game consoles," with surveys having suggested that a Wii version could also be disc-based.