Updated: Aug 16
A week after PlayStation entered its beta test, Netflix is looking to let gamers play games directly from their TV.
Hot off the heels of Sony doing the same thing, Netflix dropped their cloud gaming beta for a “small number” of those in the UK and Canada. It appears that they’ll be adding PC and Mac support within weeks as well.
Last week, TechCrunch identified that Netflix quietly dropped a new app for mobile devices that would turn your phone into a controller, aptly called “Netflix Game Controller”. The app store description straight up says “Connect to your TV to play”.
It was assumed they were imminently planning to launch their cloud gaming service. Cut to nearly a week later, and the assumptions were correct.
This initial test includes two games. Oxenfree is an excellent Netflix Game Studio game from Night School Studios. The other game is a gem-mining arcade-style game called Molehew’s Mining Adventure.
They were both likely included to test the capabilities of the service in speed and latency, as well as the power needed to play more advanced games.
Players, as suspected last week, use the mobile phone controller app to play these games.
Currently, the beta only works on TVs. But, within a few weeks or so, they’re opening up testing on PC and Mac as well, through supported browsers.
When that happens, those players will be able to use the keyboard and mouse support. No word if Netflix is going to offer physical keyboard and mouse support on the TV version as well.
As mentioned, this is just a small beta test for a limited amount of users within a small part of the global space that uses a small selection of TVs and devices. So, give it time if you weren’t invited yet.
The “select devices” that the beta will be compatible with are: 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. But, more will be added over time.
With Xbox already offering cloud gaming, Sony and Netflix are now in a battle to get their platforms available as well. One does wonder if the entire endeavor could turn out to be as fruitless as Google learned with the Stadia. I guess time will tell.