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LOS GATOS, Calif. (


) --


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movies and TV episodes will be available over the Internet to PlayStation 3 owners beginning next month.

The agreement with


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is free to PS3 owners who already have a Netflix subscription.


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Xbox 360 for the past year had been the only game console on which Netflix streaming was available.

The deal could be a boon for Sony, which has sold 9 million PS3 units in the U.S., and Netflix which has about 11.1 million subscribers in the U.S.

"As instantly watching movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix becomes an increasingly popular way to enjoy the Netflix service, our goal is to rapidly expand the devices that stream to our members," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, in a statement Monday. "As a leading game console and Blu-ray disc player, bringing Netflix to the PS3 system is a real win for both Netflix members and PS3 system owners."

Watching movies instantly streamed from Netflix via the PS3 system initially will be enabled by a Blu-ray disc being made available to all Netflix members. The disc will use Blu-ray technology to access the Internet and activate the Netflix user interface on the PS3.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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