UPDATE: Netflix drops the Qwikster name and keeps streaming, movies, and games under the Netflix name and single website. Best idea they've had all year. Thank you @Guillaume for the update: Link.
Old News: Netflix is separating its Streaming service from its Disc service. Netflix will continue to stream movies while the new spin-off service, Qwikster, will handle DVDs, Blu-Rays, and FINALLY Games for XBOX 360, PS3, and Wii. Games and Blu-Rays will be a premium to the base DVD price. No details, such as time frame for launch or prices have been announced.
Big changes are afoot at video streaming and DVD-by-mail service Netflix. It's splitting the business in two, with the Netflix half focusing solely on internet video streaming and a new company, Qwikster, handling the old school shipment of DVDs and Blu-ray discs by mail. It's also about to start renting video games.
Netflix will do so through the Qwikster side of its business, says Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings in a blog entry, with video game rentals soon to be a part of subscriber's queues.
"One improvement we will make at [Qwikster's] launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games," Hastings writes. "Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done."
If you're a Netflix customer who's still holding onto the movies-by-mail option, this may be a great alternative to prominent video game rental service GameFly. But the Netflix-Qwikster split may cause some inconveniences in the form of two queues, two web sites to visit and other little issues.
Hastings explains "...if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn't show up on Netflix, and vice-versa."
In more positive sounding news for international customers hoping to get their Netflix on, Hastings has the following positive spin on the mail-order and internet split.
"Netflix will offer the best streaming service for TV shows and movies, hopefully on a global basis. The additional streaming content we have coming in the next few months is substantial, and we are always working to improve our service further."
@casper884 They haven't said how much it is yet. I'm guessing DVD will stay the current price and so will Blu-Rays. The question is: How much will game rentals cost? I hope they eventually add DS, 3DS, and Vita games.
@casper884 I believe games will be an additional cost, like Blu-Rays. I think I read that somewhere.
But they also said that the prices will stay the same, so I'm guessing that means for their existing services?
EDIT: found it, in the email I got from Netflix this morning:
One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games
Blu-Ray costs extra, and it sounds like games will too.
I dropped discs when the price hike happened. I was rarely using discs, but it was convenient to have. But for $16 a month for streaming and ONE disc when I was paying $15 for streaming and TWO discs, it's not worth it anymore.
Comes down to cost, for me. I did one of those free trials with GameFly a while back and was so dissatisfied with how they handled things that I cancelled before the trial was up. If Netflix has better queue management and decent selection, I'm willing to give them a chance. I haven't rented a game in forever and I actually miss the experience of trying games out before I buy them.
I wouldn't be willing to do this just for DVD rentals, though. I use their streaming service way more frequently than the disks, which sit around the house collecting dust because I can't be bothered to actually watch 'em. That was always the flaw in the Netflix model - when I wanted to watch a movie back in the 90s, I went down to Blockbuster, rented it, and watched it that night. With Netflix, when I want to watch a movie I pick one out in the queue and two days go by. Unless it's something I'm really anticipating, my enthusiasm has already waned by then.
This sounds like a great reason to save some money and ditch gamefly. But they do have a loyalty program that I often take advantage of so we'll see if it's worth the extra money once more information comes out.
Actually, the prices did increase. Now, if you just want unlimited streaming, its only $7.99 and if you just want dvds sent to your house, that is $7.99.
Before I had the one dvd out at a time plus unlimited streaming, and I was paying $9.99 a month, now that costs $15.98 a month. But I never hardly had any dvds mailed to me, I streamed movies all the time though, so, I am just going with the unlimited streaming.
But if you want both like alot of people had up to this point, then your price increases by $6 amonth. And of course since the game rental is new, that will be extra as well.
I know this pissed alot of people off( as of now over 1.5 million people have stopped thier service with netflix entirely...people are really stupid assholes, cause there is no better deal out there), and actually its still a great deal, but for someone like me its even a better deal. I think its great, cause I will actually save $2 a month. I will not have dvds sent since over the last year I only had like 4 dvds sent to my house. If there is something I really, really want and cannot wait for, I will go to either a redbox or to one of blockbuster's kiosks(where I have 11 free rentals coming anyways).
In the end, most of the morons who cancelled thier service with netflix will come crawling back.
I might be interested in the game rentals, as long as I can just have a plan the lets me choose from games and not dvds. And it also depends on the price.
But they said that they're not changing the prices (I believe they confirmed it on twitter on something).
Not changing the prices?
If you consider taking half of your service, making it a "new" service, and then charging double for it then I suppose. In the past two months my Netflix subscription has literally doubled in cost. To get what I had at the beginning of the year went up to like $16 a month (basic streaming and DVDs).
I just got rid of the DVD option because I don't really use it all that much, so my cost should go back to what it was... however lets not get carried away. This isn't an additional service, this is Netflix distancing the Netflix name from what is a dying business, ie DVD rentals. There is a reason they took all the physical media away from the Netflix brand and bunched it together elsewhere. Netflix, which started as a straight physical media rental service, now has somewhere around 10% of it's 25 million users actually using it to rent DVDs. That number is going to continue to drop as both customers and Netflix alike continue transitioning to the streaming digital model.
I really don't know how I feel about this. I understand from a business perspective what they are doing, however it's a huge inconvenience for customers who do use the physical media option and much more expensive to boot.