Nintendo said it will add Netflix movie streaming to its Wii console in the spring, a move some analysts believe was designed to boost a slow down in sales. Competitors Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 added the Netflix feature in the past 18 months, and insiders say gaming manufacturers are looking to add more functionality to consoles to compete against lower cost mobile gaming and free games on social networks.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Will it be enough to lift sales? Unlikely, said Michael Pachter, analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, who noted that Sony's and Microsoft's consoles have the advantage of catalogs of thousands of movies and TV shows available to download that are not on Netflix.
The addition could point to a broader trend, with the video game industy as a whole looking for new ways to package itself as the gaming landscape changes.
From The New York Times:
“You just have to wonder if people are going to buy prepackaged $60 video games in the future,” said Mark Mahaney, managing director for Internet research at Citigroup. “If you are a console maker, you better quickly hurry to add more functionality and features to your console.”