Netflix users will soon be able to play its games on the big screen


Famous for binge-watching sessions, Netflix, the streaming giant, will soon allow users to play its games on their TVs. Not much else is known, but this is yet another sign that the platform is serious about its push into gaming.

Netflix has already released a new digital controller for iOS devices, giving subscribers a chance to play cloud games on their big screens. For now, games can only be accessed on mobile phones and tablets.

“Coming soon to Netflix. Play games on your TV with the Netflix Game Controller. This Game Controller app pairs with your TV and allows you to play games on Netflix using your phone or mobile device,” the description of the app, called Netflix Game Controller, says.

The app, or the controller, looks like a standard gamepad with four action buttons on the right and a directional virtual pad on the left. There’s also a tiny menu button at the top.

Users can download the fresh software on their iPhones and iPads but mobile devices must be running iOS 15 or later. However, there’s no rush as there simply is nothing to play, at least right now.

Yes, if you download and launch the Netflix Game Controller, it asks you to choose a game on your TV and follow directions to connect. But, again, this doesn’t do anything because there are no games to select and connect to.

The app description doesn’t mention which titles will support the app. Yet, it’s worth mentioning that there are already games on Netflix for mobile that are compatible with Bluetooth controllers.

These include Laya’s Horizon, Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon, and TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. These titles might be among the first to let people use their iPhones as a controller.

In any case, Netflix has been on a roll releasing new games which users can play on their phones. Besides, the firm hasn’t really been shy about wanting to get the games on TVs.

Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s VP of external games, said earlier this year in a briefing with reporters that the company wanted to make its games “playable on every Netflix device that you have.”

Netflix forayed into the gaming world back in late 2021, and has been quickly expanding since. The platform’s current library includes over 70 games, including tie-ins to its most popular series like Stranger Things. The games are free, and there are no in-app purchases.

In April, iOS developer Steve Moser noticed a code inside the streamer’s iOPS app betraying Netflix’s intention to run games on TVs. A smartphone controller will take time to get used to though – it’s not as comfortable as the standard Xbox or PlayStation devices.

But the upside is that the app won’t cost you any additional money – you just need to have a Netflix subscription. Finally, further expansion is certainly possible.

In late 2022, job listings betrayed Netflix’s ambitions to build complex high-profile AAA video games. Projects enjoying the AAA classification usually include major games created by large development teams that command vast amounts of money.

Prominent examples include games such as Grand Theft Auto V, the Assassin’s Creed series, and Fallout. Netflix would be competing with famous triple-A studios – Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Activision, or Bethesda Softworks.


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