Netflix, the juggernaut in the world of streaming television and movies, is taking its gaming initiative to the next level. On August 14, 2023, Mike Verdu, Netflix’s VP of Games, announced a limited beta test that will make games playable on an extensive range of devices, from TVs to computers to mobile. This marks a major stride in Netflix’s gaming journey since the company added mobile games to its platform in 2021.
A Brief History of Netflix’s Gaming Initiative
The move to gaming is not a spur-of-the-moment decision for Netflix. The company announced its entry into the mobile gaming arena in November 2021, allowing subscribers to play a variety of games on iOS and Android devices with no additional fees. The company emphasized creating a broad library that caters to every kind of player.
Now, the initiative has grown to encompass more than just mobile platforms.
The latest announcement outlines Netflix’s plan to make games playable on every device where members enjoy Netflix content. This includes TVs, computers, and mobile, signaling an ambitious expansion.
The beta testing, starting in Canada and the UK, will be available on select TVs and will soon extend to PCs and Macs through Netflix.com on supported browsers. Games like “Oxenfree” from Night School Studio and “Molehew’s Mining Adventure” will be part of the initial test.
Innovative Controller Solution
One of the highlights of this announcement is the introduction of an innovative controller mechanism. To play games on TV, Netflix is utilizing something that many already have at hand – their mobile phones. Members using PCs and Macs can use a keyboard and mouse.
Cloud Gaming Technology
This limited beta will also serve as a testing ground for Netflix’s game streaming technology and the new controller setup. The games on TV will be available on a broad array of devices including 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, with more to be added continuously.
Towards a Ubiquitous Gaming Experience
By making games accessible on a multitude of devices, Netflix is creating a seamless experience for its members. The announcement is not only a technological advancement but also a clear statement of Netflix’s commitment to expanding its entertainment services to include gaming.
The company is evidently in the early stages of its gaming venture, but the extension to different platforms represents a significant step forward. The use of phones as controllers, cloud gaming, and a strategic partnership with various device manufacturers showcases a promising future.
Netflix’s move into gaming, starting from mobile in 2021 to the present expansion to various devices, reflects a significant trend in the entertainment industry. The integration of gaming into a platform traditionally recognized for movies and TV shows highlights the convergence of different entertainment mediums. While Netflix’s journey in gaming is still in its infancy, the innovation and ambitious expansion are sure signs that the company is positioning itself as the pioneer in the evolving world of digital entertainment.