It's a long time coming, but good to see that after a few hints here and there, we finally have word from Kristin Kalning, Games editor on MSNBC in this article that beginning this fall in the States, the catalogue of streaming video titles available from Netflix will be available directly from your Xbox 360...

"The announcement, which came about midway through Microsoft’s press briefing at E3, an annual video and computer games trade show, confirmed a long-rumored partnership between the two companies... Netflix gains access to 12 million Xbox Live members. And Microsoft gets a shot at millions of Netflix subscribers who might be swayed to buy an Xbox 360.

"Netflix helps Xbox because there are 8 million of Netflix subscribers, and three-quarters of them are the right age demographic to buy a console," says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan. "This gives them one more reason."

The Netflix PlayerBut, I will say, that for a room where you don't need a game system that includes a DVD player and Internet access, Roku's inexpensive Netflix player (as noted here) is still a good option to consider.  It's small, inexpensive ($99) and easy to to set up and use, with all the right connections (RCA, S-video, component video, HDMI, and optical audio).  But with the recent price drop to $299 for the 20GB console (and announcement of a new model with increased storage to 60 GB), I think that it's a small premium over the Roku and other Media Center Extenders, for a new device that does so much.   

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Tags: Microsoft, Netflix, Xbox Live.