Netflix goes together with video game consoles like a sweet layer of icing in the middle of a cake. Sure there's different icing on top, and it's not really necessary, but that extra little treat makes everything all the more delicious. Mmmm... cake...
But let's not get too sidetracked here with all this talk about cake. It's a lie anyway. The real matter at hand is that you're now going to have to pay for having your cake and then pay to eat it too.
Netflix is separating instant streaming from their in-mail Blu-ray/DVD options. Streaming will now cost $7.99. If you still want to have the option for DVDs and Blu-rays, you're going to have to spring for a second package, which starts at about $7.99. If you want both, you have to pay for each separately.
Granted, there was an option for instant streaming-only before for $7.99, but I don't see many people paying for that when you could get DVDs too for around the same price.
What does this mean for gamers? It means that anyone that already had a Netflix package and were able to stream content to their consoles for free, can't anymore. At least not for free. I know that I only used the console streaming because I already had Netflix, but now that I've had the streaming for a while, I don't want to lose it. Then again, I don't want to pay for it, either.
In a way, I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. After all, Netflix streaming to consoles accounts for 20% of all internet traffic - that's a lot of bandwidth.
Here's the email that Netflix is sending existing customers:
Dear Pissed Off Consumer, [Okay, we altered the name a bit.]
We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.
Your current $9.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $7.99 a month
Your price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). You don’t need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.
These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.
You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account.
We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.
–The Netflix Team