Netflix Adds Holiday Favorites and Other UI Tweaks (PS3)

December 3, 2011

Just in time for Christmas, there’s some user interface surprises for the Playstation3 Netflix player. If you go to the near bottom of the browsable categories, you’ll see the addition of “Holiday Favorites”. Besides getting us all in the holiday spirit, the category demonstrates some new ways to present cover art. As you can see from the screenshot below, it presents the category with wider versions of the standard cover art. On the Roku 2, the category has also been added but with no visual differences. Since the PS3 uses Netflix’s HTML5 interface, Netflix has the flexibility to make layout changes to the screens. The Roku, on the other hand, has a limited set of GUI screens that are provided by its operating system. What’s also interesting is that Starz titles are indicated with a special badge in the wider cover art. Strange, given that Netflix’s relationship with Starz is ending. Let us know in the comments if you see the holiday category on other Netflix players with the HTML5 interface (Blu-ray players, Boxee, Google TV, etc…)

Update: Netflix confirmed via press release today that the “Holiday Favorites” favorites section will be available on their website, the PS3 and the Wii. There was no acknowledgement of it on the Roku. Netflix also posted about it on their blog.

Netflix Holiday Favorites on the PS3 (HTML5)
Netflix Holiday Favorites on the PS3 (HTML5)

Netflix Holiday Favorites on the Roku 2
Netflix Holiday Favorites on the Roku 2
The other interesting UI tweak is that episodes are once again organized into seasons! For a while, all of the episodes in the HTML5 interface were displayed in one long, unfriendly list. I’m glad to see that Netflix undid this change. It gives me hope that some of the other recent changes to the PS3 Netflix UI will be undone.
TV Seasons return to the PS3
Seasons return to the PS3
Finally, while browsing the Playstation store, I could no longer find the Netflix app. Hulu Plus and CinemaNow are still there. If go to my download list, I can still re-download the Netflix app but I don’t know what would happen if I had a new PS3. Hopefully, this is a temporary glitch. Let us know if you can see the Netflix app in the Playstation store.

Tags: Netflix, Playstation3, PS3, Roku

3 Responses to Netflix Adds Holiday Favorites and Other UI Tweaks (PS3)

  1. Michael Anthoney on December 6, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I noticed that the Recently Watched category is now missing for me. That's more useful to me than Holidays. Especially since you can't rely on your tv shows remaining in place in your queue.

  2. msgohan on December 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I don't remember ever using the PSN store to download the Netflix app. It was just an icon under Video section of the XMB. When selected, it stated that the app must be installed before using and offered as Yes/No prompt.

  3. The Hub on December 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    With so many Netflix devices, I lose track. I must have been thinking of the Wii. Thanks Msgohan

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