Netflix Gets to Play (and Stream) on the Wii - NBC Bay Area

Netflix Gets to Play (and Stream) on the Wii

Games and movies in your livingroom



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    No more looking in the mailbox for movies.

    Soon, when you watch movies at home, and want to adjust the volume, you won't need to reach for your remote. Instead you can reach for your Wii-mote instead.  Nintendo's hyper popular in-home video game console is the latest ground tread on by Netflix to stream its movie library to your television set.

    Already streaming on the XBox, not to mention several Blu-Ray DVD players and television brands, Netflix scores a coup with its Wii deal.  The Wii is not just where hardcore gamers gather, but it's been snatched up by so many families, it seems the ideal device to be able to stream movies.  Families love movies.  They buy Wiis. Theyr'e going to love this deal.  Wall Street already does, giving Netflix (NFLX) a three percent pop on its already solid stock price.

    Times are good for Netflix, but it's clearly not resting on its laurels.  The Los Gatos, Calif.-based dot-com DVD renter is gradually moving to a streaming model, lining up several hardware companies to partner with.  A friend of mine recently bought a Roku box, letting him and his wife stream movies from straight to their TV.  For them, it's displaced the US mail as the number one way to get their movies.  They love it.

    I just spoke to Netflix founder Reed Hastings, who says he loves stories like that.  On the recent move to take longer to get you new movies through the mail, Hastings says, "The deal lets us stream more movies instantly, because we're saving money.  Money we'll use to beef up our streaming side." 

    No doubt, this is where his business is going.  The more that people buy Roku boxes, or XBoxes, or now Wiis (the streaming deal with Nintendo starts this spring), the more people get used to choosing, then streaming, their movies instantly.

    It's what the company is betting on these days.  Investors, it seems, are voting "yes" with their wallets as well.

    Scott is still old school enough to get his red envelopes in the mail.