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Analyst predicts Netflix on Wii will have limited impact

Service's launch on console won't be as significant as on 360, says Pachter

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has said he doesn't expect the launch of Netflix on Wii, announced earlier today, to be as significant a move as it was on Xbox 360.

Despite a US installed base of close to 26 million, Pachter estimated that only a small percentage of users - fewer than 20 per cent - had connected their Wii to the internet. In contrast, he estimated around 75 per cent of 360s and 80 per cent of PS3s were used online.

As such it wasn't expected that Netflix activations would jump significantly when the service launched this spring. "We think that the Wii installed base will embrace the Netflix service only gradually," said the Wedbush report.

However, as the Xbox 360 installed base for the Netflix service approached saturation point, the addition of PS3, Wii and further electronics devices would enable Netflix to maintain its pace of new subscribers, it added.

To access the Netflix service through the Wii, users will need to insert a separate disc before watching a film - as will be required on the PS3 also. On the Xbox 360, users can simply access the service from the Dashboard - a feature which Pachter predicted has arisen from Microsoft's 360 exclusive arrangement with Netflix, which will run at least until the end of 2010.

In the wake of the Wii announcement, the guidance from Wedbush on Netflix shares was that they would underperform.

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