March 22, 2009, 10:44 PM — I've got a couple of quick video game news updates before the serious business of the work week starts up again.
First is speculation that Netflix's "Watch Now" service might be coming to the Nintendo Wii. The rumor started at Joystiq when a reader told them they'd been sent a consumer survey asking if they'd be interested in such a service. If it happened, it would require a disk to be in the Wii (the disk would cost a one-time $2.99) and, of course, for the Wii to be online and the user to have an active Netflix account.
The Wii can't output video over 480P when used as a gaming system, and this limitation would probably apply to Netflix "Watch Now" as well, but honestly only a small percentage of the content on Watch Now is offered in HD anyway. I'm not knocking the service; I love it for old TV shows and the like. I'm just saying it would be almost the same experience on the Wii as it is on the Roku box or Microsoft XBox 360 (both of which support HD).
And again, this is purely speculation and rumor at this point.
Story number two isn't rumor. The Sony Playstation 3 is an excellent Blu-Ray player that also upscales DVDs; in my house it's our main movie player. The one drawback is the remote control. Sony does offer a remote, but it connects via bluetooth rather than IR. In fact, the PS3 has no IR receptor on it. The Sony remote gets the job done, but it isn't lighted and anyway most home theater types like to use some kind of universal remote. There've been some third party IR dongle/remote packages available (where you stick an IR receiver into one of the USB ports on the PS3) but now Logitech is stepping up to the plate and releasing a PS3 adapter to let you use your Logitec Harmony universal remote with the system.
Engadget first broke the story, then Logitech made it official on their blog. What makes this unit really slick is that it'll talk to the PS3 via bluetooth, and talks to your Harmony Remote via IR. There's no need to use up a USB slot, and it'll turn the PS3 on and off as well (something the IR dongle devices can't do). Might be time to upgrade my ancient universal remote to a Harmony once this device hits the shelves. No release date yet but we're promised more info "very soon."