Turns out that the spat between Sony and Microsoft over the Netflix service on Xbox Live may not have been a console wars cheap-shot after all.

You may recall that back in mid-November, it was discovered that a significant number of movies by Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, were inaccessible through the Netflix serviced offered on Xbox Live. Steve Swasey of Netflix blamed the problem on licensing issues, saying, “A few hundred titles are temporarily unavailable to be streamed via the Xbox game console” and adding that he hoped they’d be back on the console soon, but the fact that those very same movies were still available on the PC, Mac and other Netflix-enabled on-demand devices led many to believe that Sony was just peeing in Microsoft’s Cornflakes on the eve of the NXE launch.

As much fun as conspiracy theories are, the reality is that truth is usually far less interesting, and that appears to be the case in this supposed back-room battle between the two console giants. Sources at Evil Avatar, confirmed by 1Up, have reported that Sony’s movies have returned to the the 360, and while it’s still possible that this is all part of an elaborate scheme by Sony, the quick resolution of the dust-up points to cooler heads being correct: Legal issues cropped up, legal issues were resolved, movies are back.

It’s almost too bad, though; I was really looking forward to reading about Shane Kim putting Saran Wrap over Kaz Hirai’s toilet bowl.

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