Netflix subscribers using the Xbox 360 app to watch content were once able to take advantage of something called “Party Mode,” which let them watch movies and TV shows with their friends via Xbox Live. It was a popular way to view Netflix content, adding a social element otherwise non-existent on Netflix (despite its recently added Facebook integration).
A couple years ago, Microsoft launched a firmware update for the console, which took away the ability to use Party Mode, and people were not happy about it.
While the days of being able to utilize this functionality on your Xbox 360 may be in the past, some developers are working on bringing the feature back to the desktop for Chrome users.
“On consoles right now we can’t lay anything over Netflix as we can on the PC,” one of the developers tells The Review Zoo. “It lets us give the experience without wrangling any contracts or making you sign up for a different service. Netflix did the heavy lifting of acquiring the content, we just want to add to the experience so you can watch with whoever you want without being in the same room. The over top bit lets us sync everything, run chats and images, resize the movie, and more. The other bit is that on XBox you can at least have people over but people who don’t have Netflix on their TV can’t even have more than one person watch with them on their laptop screens, they really need something like this to be able to get that going-to-the-movies experience that we all want.”
The developers work for a software company whose boss launched a contest to determine what it’s going to build next. They’ve put up a petition to gain support to help their project win so it can actually happen.
They do already have a test version, and think it can be finished in a couple months if they get to work on it full-time. Otherwise, perhaps they’ll release it anyway, and just take a bit longer.[via reddit]