October 26, 2009, 12:00 AM

Netflix movies will soon play on PlayStation game consoles

Sony Corp.’s popular PlayStation 3 game console will soon be the latest device that can play movies and TV shows streamed on demand from Netflix.com.

Netflix Inc. announced today that starting next month it will be able to stream movies and TV shows to the popular Sony PlayStation 3 game console. The PS3 is the latest in a growing list of devices that can connect to the Netflix system and allow consumers to instantly watch content available at Netflix.com.

There are nearly 9 million of the PlayStation 3 game consoles in the homes of U.S. consumers, says Netflix, No. 18 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Netflix charges no extra fee for streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix.com for subscribers who pay Netflix at least $8.99 a month. There are 11.1 million Netflix subscribers, the company says.

Throughout the last few years, Netflix-and such competitors as Blockbuster Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.-have announced a series of deals with hardware manufacturers that enable consumers to display content streamed from web sites. Netflix already can transmit digital content to Blu-ray disc players and Internet-enabled TVs from LG Electronics, Blue-ray disc players from Samsung and Best Buy’s Insignia brand, the Roku digital video player, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console and TiVo digital video recorders.

Roughly 42% of Netflix subscribers watch video instantly by streaming content from Netflix.com at least once a quarter, up from 22% at this time last year, a Netflix spokesman says.

"As instantly watching movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix becomes an increasingly popular way to enjoy the Netflix service, our goal is to rapidly expand the devices that stream to our members," says Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings.

PS3 owners will have to obtain a free disc from Netflix to insert into their PlayStation consoles to enable the streaming-video service.

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