Netflix CEO talks PS3 streaming, Hulu Plus

Reed Hastings tells investors a new version of its Sony PS3 user interface to stream movies and TV shows won't require a disc.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Say goodbye to Netflix discs for streaming to the PS3. Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Netflix is working on a streaming service for Sony's PlayStation 3, similar to that of the Xbox 360, that won't require a disc, CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement (PDF) to investors Wednesday.

According to Hastings, Netflix will "be launching a major new version of our Sony PS3 user interface which doesn't require a disc, and is dynamically updated continuously with the latest Netflix UI improvements." Hastings didn't provide many details on the service, which will launch at some point before the company's next earnings call in October, but it sounds like it will work similarly to Netflix on the Xbox 360. Rather than insert a disc, users need only to go to the Netflix service, sift through content, and play a movie or television show.

Hastings made no mention of the Nintendo Wii, which also requires a disc for users to be able to stream content. His remarks accompanied Netflix's quarterly earnings results Wednesday.

But Hastings didn't just stop at the PlayStation 3. The Netflix CEO said that by the end of the year, the company should have Netflix's instant-streaming service running "on over 100 million devices in consumers' homes."

Hastings then turned his attention to Hulu Plus. The service allows users to watch as many television shows as they want on various devices, including the iPad and iPhone, for $9.99 per month. Hastings acknowledged that Hulu Plus competes with Netflix's instant-streaming offering, but for now he's not worried. He said that "once Hulu Plus has a few hundred thousand subscribers," the company will determine what consumers like about the service. Based on that understanding, Netflix will incorporate the Hulu Plus features that consumers like into its own offering, Hastings said.

The company also said that it's now focusing much of its efforts on adding television shows to its streaming service. Over the past few months, Hastings said, Netflix has added "thousands of TV episodes from new deals with Fox, MTV Networks, and Warner Television." He said that the service now has every season from "24," "Lie to Me," and several others shows. Every season of "The Family Guy" will also be available to stream on Netflix "in a few weeks," Hastings said.