Space Ramblings

Netflix plus XBox 360 kill Blockbuster

Call it the Blockbuster killer. The XBox 360 Netflix deal won’t change the face of entertainment on its own, for one thing the idea that Microsoft will be able to put the XBox into any more than a minor percent of American homes is nothing more than digital delusion, but it does handily sideswipe Blockbuster’s own aborted ambitions to move downloaded digital content into homes via their own technology. What Sony did to HD-DVD by fusing Blu Ray with the PS3, Microsoft is doing to Blockbuster through an alliance with Netflix. The big advantage the XBox 360 has over any hypothetical Blockbuster set top box, is that it exists, it’s reasonably popular and it has an installed user base already. That puts Blockbuster well behind in a race that it’s already losing. Netflix has beaten Blockbuster on brand credibility and customer service. It has become the service of choice for the new generation and it’s thriving while Blockbuster is floundering. This was the deal Blockbuster needed to survive. Now its only hope are the cable companies which really don’t actually need Blockbuster to sell movie viewing on their own.

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