Amazon’s Instant Video streaming service is a PlayStation 3 exclusive no longer. On Tuesday, Amazon announced that its Netflix competitive streaming library has made the transition to the Xbox360, nearly two months after it first debuted on Sony’s console.
The service is available for Amazon Prime members, allowing them to stream thousands of movies and TV shows from Amazon’s library in addition to free two-day shipping for eligible items purchased through the website. Amazon offers a free one month trial for anyone looking to give the streaming service a spin, with a full year of Instant Video and discounted shipping for a flat rate of $79.
In addition to all of the freely available streaming content, Prime members will be able to view their Amazon Video purchases easily through the Xbox application. The Xbox version also features Kinect support, allowing users to give both voice and motion commands to control the playback of their favorite streaming content.
Like Netflix, the major difference between the two console versions is that Microsoft’s gaming system requires you to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription on top of the company’s subscription fees in order to gain access to the service on your console. Sony’s online network gives bonus content to paying members through PlayStation Plus, but it doesn’t restrict access to streaming applications to PlayStation Plus subscribers – a definite advantage for PS3 owners.
With the move to the Xbox 360, Amazon Instant Video is creeping even closer to Netflix’s huge console streaming market. Whether or not gamers will see the $79 price tag as a good deal up front, when many of them already have Netflix accounts with a lot of the same content, will have to be seen.
Whatever the outcome, more and more choices for streaming content can’t hurt, right? All together with the recently launched HBO Go app, Netflix, and now Amazon Instant Video, I’ve got a total of three resources for serious movie/TV watching on my Xbox 360. At this point I’m starting to feel more than a little overwhelmed, but in a weird way I kind of like it.