Kinect-controlled Netflix available today on Xbox 360

It's only been 25 days since spring officially started, but it appears that Microsoft is already rolling out one of its promised spring updates -- Kinect-enabled Netflix control. That's right, folks, now you can wave your arms and speak commands directly at your Xbox when you've had enough Say Yes to the Dress for one evening.

We imagine Kinect will work in a pretty cursory capacity -- as the announcement video demonstrated -- with the release describing two options for accessing Netflix via Xbox 360: "With Xbox LIVE, take your Xbox 360 online and browse the full Netflix library to find the movie or TV show that you want, or launch Netflix from the Kinect Hub and select from one of the recommended titles using your voice and hand gestures as the remote control." Well, that sounds ... limited!

A Microsoft representative further detailed Netflix's Kinect functionality to us on the phone, saying that all Netflix films will be navigable with Kinect, but only "recommended films" through the Kinect sub-Dashboard Netflix application will be selectable. In so many words, you still have to start playing the majority of films with a controller, though all can be controlled with Kinect after they start playing.
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Available today, Kinect support for Netflix on Xbox LIVE delivers controller-free movies and TV shows exclusively on Xbox 360

Starting today, Kinect support for Netflix now allows consumers to instantly watch TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix with just the wave of their hand and sound of their voice. As the first console to launch streaming from Netflix in 2008 and the only device that lets you share your favorite movies and TV shows with up to seven friends in a Movie Party, Xbox is now the only place to enjoy thousands of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix controller-free on the biggest screen in your home.

"By integrating Kinect into the Netflix experience on Xbox LIVE, we're continuing to transform the way people enjoy their favorite entertainment in the living room," said Pete Thompson, General Manager, Xbox LIVE. "Since its launch, Netflix has always been one of the most popular services on Xbox LIVE, so we are excited to deliver a brand new way to control this experience in a way that can't be found anywhere else."

The Netflix application currently offers Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix members in the United States and Canada the ability to instantly watch TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix, which contains thousands of TV shows and movies from the major networks and studios, and independent and international producers. Now, through the power of Kinect, your voice is the remote control – just say "Xbox play" to start movie night.

"Netflix continues to provide its more than 20 million members in the U.S. and Canada unparalleled convenience, selection and value," said Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey. "With thousands and thousands of titles available to watch instantly, paired with the innovation of Kinect and the power of Xbox LIVE, this is an entirely new way for Netflix members to enjoy instantly watching TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix on their TVs."

With Xbox LIVE, take your Xbox 360 online and browse the full Netflix library to find the movie or TV show that you want, or launch Netflix from the Kinect Hub and select from one of the recommended titles using your voice and hand gestures as the remote control. Even play, pause, fast forward and rewind what you're watching with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice.

With a growing community of 30 million active members on Xbox LIVE spending more than one billion hours a month online enjoying entertainment, Xbox 360 is the only place to experience controller-free entertainment with tens of thousands of movies and TV shows in 1080p streaming, thousands of live and on-demand sports, and millions of songs – all on the biggest screen in your home shared with the people you care about most wherever they are.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.