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Kinect navigation comes to Xbox 360 Netflix app

Xbox 360 owners can now sift through Netflix's library of content by simply waving their hands around. The service is available to Xbox Live Gold members.

Microsoft's Kinect.
Microsoft's Kinect Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Microsoft has brought Kinect navigation to its Xbox 360's Netflix application.

Starting today, Xbox Live Gold members who access Netflix will be available to sift through movies recommended to them, play programming, and control playback by either using hand gestures or voice control with the help of Microsoft's Kinect. The new feature is being made available in an update that users must accept prior to going controller-free with the app.

Microsoft first announced its intention of bringing Kinect navigation to Netflix at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The company also said at the time that controller-free navigation would be made available on Hulu Plus.

Microsoft's Kinect, which launched in the U.S. in November and lets users control onscreen action without a controller, has proven extremely popular. The software giant expected to sell 5 million Kinect units last year, but it easily bested that figure by reaching 8 million units sold through 2010. In March, Microsoft announced that it had sold 10 million Kinect units through February.

Both the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii offer Netflix integration, as well. However, unlike the others, Microsoft's Netflix app can only be accessed by Xbox Live Gold members. Those members pay $60 per year for access to Microsoft's service.