In a bid to expand its gaming section, Netflix has launched a new app that would allow subscribers to play games on their TV. Dubbed “Netflix Game Controller,” the app essentially functions as a touchscreen gamepad, featuring an analog stick for movement and a set of action buttons on the right. The app is now available as a free download on the Apple App Store, although it appears the streamer inadvertently released it a bit early. There is no official announcement from the platform regarding its use case or an Android release, while the product description simply states that it is “coming soon.”
According to Gizmodo, the app does nothing other than ask the user to choose a game. There are also no details on connectivity, although I assume it will be via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth . In an interview, Mike Verdu, vice president of gaming at Netflix, confirmed that the team is exploring a “cloud gaming offering”, although the plan is not to compete with the big leagues of PlayStation or Xbox, but rather simply “added value” for subscribers. . It’s also unclear whether the games will run natively on the TV and use your phone simply as a controller, or whether everything on your phone’s screen will be synced and streamed to the big screen. Something similar – but opposite – to the Steam Link app, which mirrors the active Steam window on your PC or laptop to your mobile device with low latency.
Either way, it’s a benefit for Netflix subscribers, who will continue to enjoy exclusive access to mobile games for the foreseeable future, although you still won’t be able to share passwords with friends or family living elsewhere. Last March, the streamer announced plans to launch 40 new titles on the service, with the intention of building on its existing IP catalog, in addition to working with external partners such as Ubisoft and Super Evil Megacorp. We recently saw Raji: An Ancient Epic ported to mobile, followed by The Queen’s Gambit Chess, based on its original limited series starring Anya Taylor-Joy. The partnership with Ubisoft has already brought Mighty Quest: Rogue Palace to mobile and is also planning an Assassin’s Creed title.
As for whether these video games will be received as value additions, that will be revealed in time, as many seem disappointed by Netflix’s recent crackdown on password sharing. Affected secondary account holders will now be prompted to enter verification codes every 31 days and their IP address will be tracked, in order to log them out of their account. With this update, the company added 6 million new members in its second quarter results, totaling 238 million subscribers. Netflix also entered the restaurant business earlier this year with an exclusive restaurant in Los Angeles that serves dishes seen on some of its cooking shows.
Currently, it is unclear when Netflix plans to bring its game catalog to television. The Netflix Game Controller app is now available for download on iOS.