The summer dashboard update for the Xbox 360 has gone live, bringing new Netflix features to the Microsoft console — and only that console.
According to the Xbox.com site, "This exclusive partnership offers you the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via Xbox 360. Xbox 360 will be the only game console to offer this movie-watching experience, available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix unlimited plan subscribers, at no additional cost."
The new Netflix updates for XBLA include:
Movie Parties – Xbox LIVE Gold members can sit together in a virtual theater with up to seven friends no matter where they are while your Avatars watch a movie, flirt or even throw popcorn at each other.
Manage Your Queue – Browse the Netflix Instant Watch video catalogue, choose from the most popular movies and genres and add to your queue all from the comfort of your couch – no computer required.
Enhanced Playback Experience – Enjoy a smooth viewing experience when your internet bandwidth fluctuates.
Friends Info – Richer information is now displayed in the Friends channel and in the Guide showing what you and your friends are doing.
It's unclear whether this "exclusive partnership" refers to these features or to Netflix on the Xbox 360.
Earlier this year, a rumored customer survey stated that Netflix was gauging subscriber interest in a streaming movie and television service on another current generation console — in that case on the Nintendo Wii. At the time our sources told us that Netflix wasn't going anywhere, including other consoles, for some time.
We have contacted Microsoft for further clarification about this "exclusive partnership" and what exactly it entails.