January 13, 2010, 7:47 AM — Over the past few weeks, rumors about Netflix's streaming service coming to the Nintendo Wii have once again been making the rounds, and now the New York Times is pitching in, saying an official announcement will come today, January 13th 2010.
As with the Sony PS3, a free disk from Netflix will be required. In the case of the PS3, it has been speculated that Netflix capability will be added to the firmware (eliminating the need for the disk) sometime in late 2010, but no word on whether the same is true for the Wii. Unlike the PS3 or the Microsoft Xbox 360, the Wii won't be able to stream HD content from Netflix so Netflix and Nintendo may just wait for the next iteration of the Wii hardware (the rumored WiiHD) to bake Netflix into the OS.
So to recap the Netflix on game consoles situation: the XBox 360 has native Netflix streaming and can handle HD, but requires a roughly $50/year Gold Membership to use ; the PS3 requires a Netflix provided disk to be in the machine and can handle HD; the Wii will require a Netflix provided disk and won't be able to stream HD. And beyond game consoles there's the Roku Player and a variety of blu-ray players and televisions which have Netflix Streaming support built in. And of course you can stream to a personal computer.
The service should hit the Wii sometime this spring. [Update: You can put in a request for a disk now, which I guess makes this announcement official!]