Sony has thrown a petty little wrench into Microsoft’s NXE gears: “Licensing issues” with Sony-owned Columbia Pictures has left a number of movies unavailable over the Netflix service on Xbox Live.

The news was originally broken by Joystiq, acting on a tip, which found that movies including Superbad, Bad Boys, Drunken Master and the Karate Kid trilogy – an interesting selection of movies, to be sure – were unavailable for viewing on the 360. All of the movies in question are distributed by Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Coincidence? Glitch? You might think so, except for the fact that the movies in question are still available on PC, Mac and other Netflix capable on-demand devices. The restriction applies only to the Xbox 360.

“In the case of Xbox 360, a few hundred titles are temporarily unavailable to be streamed via the Xbox game console. Those titles are still available to be watched on subscribers’ computers and on TVs via other partner devices, and we hope they’ll be licensed for Xbox 360 shortly,” Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey said in a statement to MTV Multiplayer.

“As watching instantly becomes a more prominent part of the Netflix service, our goal is to have all of our streaming content licensed for all of our partner devices,” he continued. “We’re doing well in this area, but it will take some time before we fully achieve that goal. Today, titles regularly come in and out of license and there is a natural ebb and flow to what we have on license at any given point in time.”

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