Nintendo today was the last of the three major home video game console makers to announce that Netflix video streaming is now disc-free on its platform.
Starting today, Wii owners can download the Netflix streaming application from the Wii Shop channel at no cost. Netflix streaming is only available to subscribers of the rent-by-mail service -- subscriptions start at $9 a month for complete access to the library of streaming videos and one DVD rental at a time by mail.
The Nintendo Wii has supported Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming video feature since March, but subscribers had to order and use a free disc from Netflix in order to access the service.
"More than 3 million Wii systems have already connected to Netflix, demonstrating how easy the service is to set up and use," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. That amount is up from nearly 1 million Wii Netflix users announced by Nintendo in May.
The update arrives the same day the service goes disc-free on Sony's PlayStation 3
. Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the first console to offer the streaming service, and supported disc-free operation from the feature's launch in 2008.
"The availability of Netflix right on the Wii Menu adds significantly to the ease and convenience that attracts our members to the Netflix streaming experience and is an important step in our efforts to continuously improve the service," added Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement.