Up until now, PlayStation 3 owners who wanted to stream a film through Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” feature had to manually insert a disc into their devices. As of Oct. 18, they won’t have to bother anymore.
Next week, a system update will make instant Netflix streaming a native application on the game console – putting it in parity with the Xbox 360, which had exclusivity on dashboard streaming until now.
It’s a big step for the PS3, which has been winning back ground the Xbox gained in previous years. Watching directly from the dashboard is a much more convenient and enjoyable experience.
Beyond the convenience factor, PS3 owners will also find new support for Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound with the streaming (a first for any console) and added search functionality (something all Xbox 360 owners won’t get until later this month).