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Sony: No plans to change XMB or offer Netflix service


After Microsoft's successful launch of the NXE (New Xbox Experience), GamePro had a few questions to ask Sony. The redesigned interface for Xbox certainly looks a lot sleeker than before -- would Sony consider changing up the XMB (Xcross Media Bar) to make it feel new and fresh? Unlikely, according to John Kohler. "Grand-scale changes [to XMB] are probably not realistic, because it's something that's been so well-received," he states. The XMB is used in a number of Sony products, from PS3 to PSP to DVR systems and HDTVs. Why change something that's uniquely "Sony"? However, Kohler does note that PS3 fans that are vocal about a change are likely to get it. "If consumers pound on our door loudly enough, we'll make sure they're listened to. That's been evident in the firmware updates [for the PS3 and PSP], which came out because of consumer feedback."

One of the big changes added to the NXE was the addition of Netflix streaming support. However, it doesn't appear Sony will offer a competitor to the service any time soon. "We've concentrated most of our efforts on our download service, both rentals and downloads of movies and TV shows. Our efforts will continue to be there, because our customers want to own the content." Netflix offers users access to a large number of titles to stream for a monthly fee; Sony's model allows users to buy the content a la carte. While we wish Sony would also offer an unlimited rental service for the PlayStation Store, there is an alternative that we've been using lately: Hulu. Ever since the last firmware update, we've been visiting the site to catch up on our favorite TV shows. Now if only Sony would add Hulu to the XMB ...

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