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New Xbox Experience Includes Netflix HD

Microsoft is planning to launch its New Xbox Experience November 19, bringing a complete overall to the Xbox 360 gaming console’s Dashboard and adding a swath of new features to the console. Although the update will leave some users out in the cold—like Xbox 360s that lack at least 128 MB of storage—new features will more than make up for it in most gamers’ eyes, including social features, personalized avatars, and a “Live Party” mode. And now, word comes down that Xbox Live Gold members will be able to tap into high-definition streaming video from Netflix—as long as they’re already Netflix streaming subscribers and have the bandwidth to handle the content.

Initially, the service will offer only a limited number of high-definition selections, but more high-definition offerings are expected to become available over time. As with other Netflix streaming services, the high-definition content will only be available to U.S. customers.

Of course, with the news that Netflix plans to start streaming high-definition content to Xbox 360 users, the question becomes when high-def video might become available to users of Netflix’s own Silverlight-based online streaming service, or when consume electronics (like Netflix-capable devices from Roku or LG) might be able to access high-definition content.