Netflix has begun streaming games on computers and select TVs.
Netflix VP of Games, Mike Verdu stated in a blog post that the company is rolling out a limited beta test to a handful of subscribers in Canada and the UK. The test starts today on select TVs and will arrive on PCs and Macs through Netflix’s website on supported browsers “in the next few weeks.”
The streaming giant will offer two games for this initial test: Oxenfree and Mining Adventure. You control these titles via your smartphone if you’re playing on a TV or with a mouse and keyboard if you’re playing on Netflix’s website. “This limited beta is meant to test our game streaming technology and controller, and to improve the member experience over time,” said Verdu.
As for the devices you can stream Netflix’s cloud games from, Netflix listed the Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, and Walmart ONN. Expect additional devices to get added on an ongoing basis. Verdu said: “By making games available on more devices, we hope to make games even easier to play for our members around the world.”
Website FlatPanelsHD tested Oxenfree and Molehew's Mining Adventure and discovered that both titles run at a maximum resolution of 720p. We'll try to confirm this ourselves when we've had a chance to test Netflix's gaming service.
Can Netflix gaming really take off?
Netflix has offered games since 2021, with nearly 100 titles either already available or coming soon. The games in question were limited to iOS and Android phones, but now games could reach even more people via this cloud-gaming test for additional devices.
Back in late March of this year, we reported that Netflix’s new feature could turn your iPhone into a game controller. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company wanted to make its games “playable on every Netflix device you have.” MacRumors’ Steve Moser also shared code from Netflix’s iOS app that contained the line: “Do you want to use this phone as a game controller.” Thanks to today’s official announcement, we now know these reports were accurate.
For now, this beta test is limited to some users in Canada and the United Kingdom. It’s unclear when we Americans can test Netflix’s cloud games, but it hopefully won’t be too long. Can this match the best cloud gaming services? We're skeptical, be look forward to testing Netflix cloud gaming for ourselves.