We all know that the movie rental service Netflix faced some pretty heavy complaints lately when they raised their prices for the customers who use both the streaming and the disc based services. However, they are hoping to douse the flames a little bit by announcing a change in the way they are going to be working. Netflix is now two distinct websites: Netflix for streaming movies, and Qwikster for disc rentals.
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, is attempting to justify their pricing seperation with a complete service seperation – on that will have independent queues and ratings. More importantly, the Qwikster service will make an attempt to ensnare GameFly subscribers by including PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii Rentals as well as their movies.
The announcment almost seemed like more of an explanation/apology so exact details are very slim, but it does have tons of Netflix and GameFly users (such as myself) curious. There are similar rental services out there that you may be familiar with – Redbox, Blockbuster, and Game ‘n Flix that have tried to integrate the movie and games rental business into one, but none of them were a direct competition to GameFly, mostly due to their timing.
However, with Qwikster, GameFly could have a true challenger on their hands – if the price is right. Hastings claims that adding games will be similar to the upgrade option the company currently offers when it comes to Blu-Ray rentals. If they succeed, Qwikster could be the new one-stop-shop for all your movie/game rental needs.
The element that should really intrigued gamers, is the addition of PS3, Xbox 360 ,and Wii rentals. Will it be enough to convert the faithful GameFly users over? Or does Qwikster need to get a head start and include newer platforms like the 3Ds and the Vita in order to be worthy competition? I guess we will have to wait for more details to find out.
Hastings claims that the switch should be official within a few weeks.