The PlayStation 3 has trailed Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in the video game console market for a long time. But not in everything.
Sony announced today on the PlayStation blog that the PS3 is the number one home entertainment device people use to watch Netflix on their TVs. That’s impressive.
Almost any device, it seems, can stream Netflix these days. Netflix is available on the Wii (and the new Wii U), Apple TV, Tivo, Boxee, numerous Blu-ray players, Roku digital players, smart TV platforms from multiple vendors, and, of course, the Xbox 360.
To lead that pack is quite an accomplishment.
“PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our number one platform overall,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement.
Part of that lead is because PS3 is a very successful mass-market console despite the fact that Xbox has outsold it for 23 consecutive months. Part of it is because PS3 had Netflix early, in 2009, was the first console with 1080p and 5.1 surround sound, and has consistently been on the cutting edge of what’s available, technologically, to control your Netflix viewing.
But part of it is probably also because the Xbox 360, while it offers Netflix, has a wider range of entertainment possibilities, with Microsoft working on original video content, major network TV, YouTube, live TV, and more.
Two newer innovations that Sony has brought to PS3 and Netflix include a new voice user interface system, dubbed “Max,” that is currently in testing, and the ability to pause a Netflix movie on your PS3-equipped TV, and restart it seamlessly on another device, such as your PlayStation Vita.
Innovations like that — and perhaps a breakthrough new console for the coming 2013 updates — might keep PS3 in the lead.