As Netflix streaming first debuted on the Xbox 360 and eventually made its way to the Playstation 3, Wii owners were seemingly left behind. Rumors made the rounds last October that Netflix was planning to branch out to the Nintendo Wii and slowly died down as nothing was ever announced. During an interview at CES with AllThingsD, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the chances of Netflix coming to the Wii were “excellent.” Less than one week later, the Associated Press is reporting that both companies are set to announce the deal today with a launch date sometime this spring.
This news comes shortly after Netflix and Warner Bros. struck a deal to delay the rental of new releases by 28 days after they hit the market. In return, Netflix was given additional rights to stream more movies directly, expanding further on their “watch instantly” library. Netflix hopes to strike similar deals with other major studios to push their streaming services further.
As Xbox remains the only console with Netflix support built-in, Nintendo Wii owners will follow the same route as seen on the Playstation 3. Netflix customers with a monthly subscription of at least $9 will be sent an “instant streaming” disc that will allow the Wii to access and stream movies directly. Due to its hardware limitations, the Wii will only be able to stream movies in 480p. Those with multiple systems will no doubt rely on the Xbox or PS3 due to their high-def capabilities. Still, the announcement would bring Netflix to millions that are without a way to stream onto their television sets.