After years of speculation, Netflix
The Wii comes with built-in wireless networking features, and is the market leader in North America with more than 26 million units sold. While the system isn't powerful enough to handle high-definition video streams, many Wii owners are ready to settle for a less impressive picture in return for being able to stream Netflix content to their living room TVs. I know, because I'm one of these high-def Luddites, eagerly awaiting my Wii disc from Netflix this spring.
This long-anticipated move completes the Netflix trifecta of adding video-streaming services to all three modern video game consoles, following partnerships with the Microsoft
At the same time, Netflix is busy retooling for the digital era in other ways. Last week was the first time I saw a TV spot for Netflix that emphasized the "watch it now" feature. When logging in to update my movie queue, the default landing page used to be a menu of DVD recommendations. Now I'm plunged straight into the instant-watching catalog instead.
Netflix is getting serious about pushing the all-digital agenda in a big way, and it's absolutely the right thing to do. Direct downloads and instant digital streaming will be the way we get our movies in the coming years, and Netflix is doing its best to become the provider of digital movies while the market is still young.
There is competition from cable companies' video-on-demand features as well as pay-per-rental services from the likes of Amazon.com
Will the Netflix juggernaut crush all digital competition, riding a tsunami of game consoles? Use the comments section below to share your insights, dear Fool.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Netflix, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He has rented Super Mario movies from Netflix, so watching Netflix movies on Mario's console will be fitting indeed. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick and a Motley Fool Options diagonal call recommendation. Amazon.com, Netflix, and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.