PS3 levels the Netflix playing field with Xbox 360

The announcement yesterday the Ps3 now also supports Netflix streaming to the TV just made the console wars a little bit more interesting. Xbox 360 has supported Netflix streaming for the past year, but the caveat was that you needed a Xbox Live Gold account, which costs $49.99 a year (or $39.99 on Amazon right now for a 20% discount). The Ps3 deal doesn’t include that – though there is the awkward technical requirement of having to put in a special Netflix blu-ray disc into your Ps3 when you want to stream.

That’s really a small annoyance, if you are already a PS3 console owner. So from one perspective the PS3 has just “one-upped” the Xbox. However, for Xbox owners, the Netflix deal is really just an additional reason to buy the Gold account. I got my Xbox 360 Elite yesterday, while my b-school roomies got Rock Band. I think the services on offer for the Gold membership is already quite compelling, and as an existing Netflix user, I would be willing to pay the additional $40-50 for a yearly membership.