Xbox 360 owners who also own Kinect hardware and a Netflix subscription can now enjoy films without having to touch their 360 controllers. Today, Kinect was partially integrated into the Xbox 360 Netflix app.
Now, when you start up the Netflix app you will be prompted to install a free update. This update will allow Kinect owners to operate the app with hand gestures and by voice. Browse through films by waving your hand across the screen or play, pause, fast-forward and rewind using your voice.
There is a catch, however. Joystiq has spoken to a Microsoft representative and confirmed that the integration is not 100%.
Although all movies on the Netflix instant app are controllable using voice and motion, only the ones on the specific recommendation channel are accessible in that fashion. Basically, that means that you still will have to use the controller to select most of the movies you watch, but once you start them, let the voice and motion control begin!
“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.”
Until users can fully operate Netflix and other Xbox Live applications without ever having to touch their controller, the innovation is not over-the-top cool. It is fun, however, that the Kinect can provide at least some level of control to Netflix and if you already have one sitting around, might as well use it.