Netflix is testing game streaming on TVs and computers
Netflix has announced that it has begun testing games on TVs and computers. The streaming service, which is renowned for movies and TV shows, will now let you stream video games to your PC or television screen.
Netflix's strategy has evolved aggressively over the past year, with the password sharing crackdown and the introduction of ad-supported plans. The streaming service has become pricier, but some people would view games as a value add-on, since they can play them for free (included in the cost of the subscription).
Netflix began offering mobile games for its subscribers in November 2021, and slowly picked up the pace to expand its library over time. The service has over 50 exclusive games in its lineup, with more in development. Up until now, the games were only available for 2 platforms: Android and iOS.
The Los Gatos company is changing that, it is bringing its games to TVs and computers. The game streaming service is still in an early phase, and the current beta test only comprises 2 games. The first one is Oxenfree, created by Night School Studio, it is now a Netflix Game Studio after being acquired by the company in 2021. The second game that is available for big screens is a gem-mining arcade game called Molehew’s Mining Adventure. The announcement on the company's website says that the games are available on a limited basis for users in Canada and the UK.
Netflix will soon let you stream games on TVs and desktop browsers
Users on PC and Mac will be able to play games that are available on Netflix from the browser of their choice. All you need to do is log on to Netflix.com. The games support mouse and keyboard controls, so you can play them just like a regular game. The catch here is that browser support for the games will roll out in the coming weeks, while the TV versions of the games are available from today.
But how would you play Netflix games on TV? That will be possible via the new Netflix game controller app that was released out of the blue, for iOS and iPadOS last week. You can download it from the App Store for free. Android users have not been left behind, The Verge quotes a spokesperson from Netflix, who said that users will be able to use the existing Netflix app on their Android smartphone, as a controller to play games on TVs and computers.
Netflix has published a list of TVs that are compatible with its gaming service. These include Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, and Walmart ONN. The company will add support for more devices in the future.
As 9to5Mac points out, Apple TV is a notable absentee from the list. But, Netflix can't be blamed for this issue, that's because Apple forbids cloud gaming services from its App Store, as it doesn't want other platforms to cash in, another reason why the walled garden must go. This might explain why Netflix had to release a special game controller app, which users can use with their Android TVs.
Google may have failed badly with Stadia, but Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA's GeForce NOW have proven to be quite popular. Can Netflix's cloud gaming service achieve the same level of success? Only time will answer that question.