Sony PS3 is Netflix' No. 1 viewing device

Michelle Clancy | 05-12-2012

When it comes to its connected device strategy, Netflix has been a master at getting itself embedded in a range of devices, from connected televisions to Blu-ray players. Now, the online streaming giant says that Sony's PlayStation 3 is the world's most popular device for viewing movies and TV shows from Netflix on a television.

"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 No. 1 platform overall," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, in a statement. "PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3."

The revelation dovetails with recent comments from the company. During a keynote at last month's DigiWorld Summit 2012, Netflix's vice president of content Kelly Merryman emphasised that the industry was just at the beginning of seeing what TV can do for viewers, noting that contrary to recent research findings, tablets and mobiles played a small part in its content consumption. Rather, game consoles are the dominant non-TV device. Going forward she expected connected TV to "take up a bigger chunk of the story line."

PS3 was the first computer entertainment system to offer Netflix in full 1080p video resolution with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround sound and to offer post play, second screen controls, on device sign-up, and alternate audio options including subtitles. PS3 is also so far the only platform to experience a new voice user interface called "Max" that's currently being tested.

Earlier this year, PlayStation and Netflix expanded their partnership by bringing Netflix to the handheld PlayStation Vita in the United States. PlayStation 3 owners can start watching a movie or TV show on Netflix, pause it, and continue watching on PS Vita's 5-inch high-def OLED screen.