Monday, October 25, 2010

Wii's Netflix Channel Hours Debut

Coffee Beans:
     Last Monday, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that "...more than 3 million Wii systems have already connected to Netflix...".
     The 3 million Wii systems, that had connected to Netflix at that time, were using a Netflix disc, that had to be in the Wii's game disc slot.  Last Monday, a brand new Netflix Channel became available for download through the Wii's Shop Channel, for free, as long as you have a monthly Netflix membership.

     According to the Nintendo Channel data, how many Wii owners ditched the Netflix disc, for the new Netflix Channel since last week; and how much has the channel been used?  Let's take a look...

Approx. Number of Users Reporting Data:
     The new Netflix Channel has 19,628 Wii owners that downloaded it AND are sharing their Netflix Channel usage through the Nintendo Channel.

     I received an email from Netflix about 2 weeks ago, letting me know I could try the service out for a free 30-day trial.  I knew we had family coming to visit, so I signed up for the trial, and requested to receive the Netflix discs for my Wii and PS3.  On Thursday, October 14, I received my discs in the mail, and installed the Wii disc first.  I was hoping the Netflix service would work well, and that we would get some good use out of it when our family was visiting.
     Well, the first night we used the Netflix service on the Wii, I was really impressed with it.  The Wii pointer functionality works really well, and the use of the d-pad is nice as well.  However, the one odd thing I found about the Netflix disc service on the Wii, was there was no "search" function for movies or shows.  I even hopped on a message board, and saw somebody had mentioned a new Netflix disc was going to be released with a "search" function, so that had me hopeful.
     I had no idea that just 4 days after receiving our Netflix discs, the Netflix Channel was going to be available for download.  The new Netflix Channel not only eliminates the need for the disc, but it also added the "search" function I was hoping for.

     If you haven't seen the new Netflix Channel in action on the Wii, here's a video I just recorded of it, and of my attempt to use the "search" function to find Saved by the Bell episodes:

     The Netflix Channel had data usage debut only one week after it was available for download, which is really well for something off of the Wii's Shop Channel.
     While the total of Wii owners reporting the Netflix Channel data is just a little over half of one percent of the overall Wii Netflix users, I expect to see that number increase steadily over the next few months.

     Are any of you using Netflix on the Wii?  If so, have you downloaded the new Netflix Channel, and what do you think about it?


  1. I just downloaded the service and checked out an episode of Cake Boss Season 2. While its nice that the episode was widescreen, the amount of grain is noticable compared to watching it on the 360. I didn't notice any skipping or pausing, but there did seem to be a fluctuating level of quality.

    If the Wii is your only console and you are not used to watching HD content, I'm sure Netflix on Wii is great.

    Personally, I prefer the look and function of Netflix on 360 over PS3 and Wii. The choices flow easier across the screen and seems more intuitive. But that's the 360's dashboard in general.

  2. I downloaded the new channel on the first day. So far its great. I have it for PS3 as well and I can't tell a lot of difference on stuff that is standard def. But I sit far back from my television. If you get up close you can see the difference, but for 9 bucks a month... I can't really complain. Its a nice option to have.

  3. @vince:
    I have a PS3 and Wii, but we only have SD TVs, so we can't tell the difference between the two of them.

    When you said, "The choices flow easier across the screen and seems more intuitive. But that's the 360's dashboard in general."

    Are you talking about moving from one movie to the next? I think the Wii flows better than the PS3, though both work well enough; and I don't have a 360 to compare them with.

    @Brad Jerger (The Butcher):
    Yea, we are on the trial right now...but the trial may have sold us on staying with the service, because we don't have cable tv, so this is a great alternative we think.

    Thank you both for the comments!

  4. We've had Netflix for the Wii for about 3 months now and we love it. However, we haven't DL the app yet. We don't play any games on it so for us, there hasn't been a need to take out the initial Netflix disc.

    My big beef with Netflix instant play is I'll watch something half way but they will take it down.

  5. @Charlie Chang:
    You may want to DL the new channel, because of the search feature alone.


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