Netflix coming to PS3 next month

It appears that reports of 360 exclusivity for Netflix have been greatly exaggerated. You could always hack it onto your console, but this is a little more official. The streaming-video service will arrive on PS3s next month, and current Netflix subscribers will be able to watch to their heart’s content at no extra charge. However, in a rather absurd turn, streaming will only be enabled when you have a special Netflix disc in your PS3. What the hell is that about?

Initially, watching movies instantly streamed from Netflix via the PS3 system will be enabled by a free, instant streaming Blu-ray disc that is being made available to all Netflix members. The free instant streaming disc leverages Blu-ray’s BD-Live™ technology to access the Internet and activate the Netflix user interface on the PS3 system, which must be online via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

I don’t even want to speculate, it’s too weird. The content is hosted online, streamed over the internet, and the application and interface can’t take up more than a few megabytes. Yet they feel the need to next-day-air you a freaking Blu-ray disc that’s apparently the only way to access it. That’s a bit like having somebody climb the stairs in order to get to an escalator, isn’t it?

Maybe this is just a temporary thing, but maybe it really is as dumb as it sounds. We’ll know next month. At any rate, it’s a pretty awesome score for Sony. Maybe Microsoft only signed up for a two-month-long exclusive?