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2/5/2009
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Xbox Live-Netflix Viewership Hits One Million

However, movies produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment aren't available through the video-game console.

Microsoft on Thursday said 1 million of its Xbox Live Gold members have activated the Netflix application launched in November to watch movies and TV shows through the online rental service.

Overall, Live members have watched on the Xbox 360 video-game console 1.5 billion minutes of entertainment through Netflix, which offers 12,000 films and TV episodes online, Microsoft said. The Xbox is the only video-game console that can access Netflix content.

However, movies produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment aren't available through the Xbox. Sony, which makes the competing PlayStation 3, reportedly blocks Xbox users' access.

Netflix was one of several services launched about three months ago by Microsoft in combining the Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live online network into a platform for streaming movies, holding chat sessions, sharing photos, and engaging in other digital activities.

Microsoft called the platform New Xbox Experience, which provides a user interface that, among other things, allows users to cycle through options as they would if they were using Windows Vista's Aero interface. Available games, movies, and TV shows are presented side by side, making them easier to find and access, according to Microsoft.

Netflix and the other services are part of Microsoft's strategy to maintain Xbox sales momentum in the face of stiff competition from PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii. Microsoft has also slashed prices on the Xbox 360 to boost sales.

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