Netflix on PS3 was a great addition, but it had one inconvenience. The application could only be run if a Netflix disc was in the console. These discs would also mysteriously stop working without warning. Netflix promised the PS3 wouldn’t need a disc by October, and the wait is almost over. Starting next Monday (October 18, 2010) Netflix will be disc-free and redesigned on the PS3.
The Netflix application will be a free download that will appear under the video section of the XMB. After it’s installed, you’ll be able to run Netflix straight from the hard drive. Netflix’s design has changed drastically. You’ll be able to see multiple titles in a grid format and get suggestions for movies you may like. You can also hold down the analog sticks to rapidly move through selections.
Everything about Netflix is included such as your Instant Queue and a search feature. Netflix has its own on-screen keyboard for searches that is formatted from A-Z. There is not QWERTY virtual keyboard.
The PS3 is also getting 1080i HD support for certain Netflix titles in addition to support for Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Sony’s console will be the first device to stream content with 5.1 surround sound. Netflix will be bringing this feature to more devices over time.
Update: Sony just confirmed some Netflix titles will have a resolution of 1080p.