I've been a Netflix customer off and on over the years, and while I thought our rocky and long distant relationship of using snail mail to send and receive DVDs may finally be in trouble with the introduction of the Redbox, the fairly recent addition of streaming Netflix content on all of the mainstream consoles and select models of DVD players has forced me to reconsider .


My particular method to stream Netflix is using my Xbox 360 for the family room and a Blu Ray DVD player in the bedroom. While the DVD player version is nice, it isn't near as user friendly or feature rich as the Xbox 360.

Netflix + Xbox 360 =  

If you enjoy movies and watch your fair share of them, then Netflix is a must have. But this post isn't just a free advert patting Netflix on the back for a job well done. It’s certainly a nice feature but it is in no way the only feature. No, it's about the dynamic migration and evolution of the traditional gaming system into a platform capable of so much more.

Even though I don't have a PS3 and my use and/or knowledge of our Wii is very limited, I'm sure they all, to a certain degree, share many of the features that the Xbox 360 has. I know they all do (or will do – I think the Wii just started) streaming Netflix.

But what else...

Features like Facebook and Twitter; online communities; a marketplace to download trailers, games and demos; web browsing; music player; picture viewer; the ability to send voice and text messages or talk in real time (including video chat with those who purchase the add on camera) to other people on the same network (Xbox Live to Xbox Live, for example). These features greatly enhance and may affect the decision to purchase a system that often carries a hefty price tag. Streaming family photos from your home PC wirelessly to your Xbox 360 to watch on your TV is pretty neat.


Microsoft has stated (and I’m sure Sony and Nintendo echo this perspective) their vision for the Xbox 360 was for it to be the centerpiece of your home entertainment system.

If you're a youngster trying to convince your parents to buy you a new console or a married person trying to convince your spouse to upgrade, don't advertise your dream machine as a gaming system, rather, market it as just another component of your home entertainment system. Even though we all recognize you want it for the games, you will very likely use it for so much more.

Now if Microsoft would just develop a MS Office Xbox 360 edition, I could justify a request to have my work computer replaced with an Xbox 360. Imagine the work I could blow off then.