Netflix levels up with new in-app gaming feature
It only took them like a hundred years to do it.
Netflix, not content with just being your go-to for late-night binge sessions, is finally committing its app to gaming. The company announced it’s rolling out a feature that lets subscribers play games right from the Netflix app.
Mike Verdu, VP of Netflix’s gaming division, broke the news in a blog post, saying they’re about to throw open the doors to their surprisingly robust mobile gaming stash.
So, who gets access and who doesn’t? For now, only a chosen few in Canada and the UK can game on their TVs via Netflix. But don’t worry: PC and Mac users, your turn is coming soon.
The beta version’s got games like Oxenfree and Molehew’s Mining Adventure. To play, you scan a QR code on your screen, and bam, it launches a separate app that turns your phone into a gaming controller, which they launched last week.
The gaming beta app, which Netflix sneakily released last week, is available now. But you’ll need the beta functionality to make it work on your TV. If you’re a computer gamer, your good ol’ keyboard and mouse will do the trick.
You should be able to access the gaming feature on the Netflix app across various platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, LG TVs, and more. Netflix says they plan on expanding its services in the future.
The Game Controller App, which looks like your traditional controller buttons and a joystick, is the only way to play Netflix games on TV for now.
What about 3rd-party controller support? Don’t hold your breath; Netflix says they’re focusing on polishing the app first before piling on extra features. Some might see this as a missed opportunity since some Netflix games are already console-ready.
But at the same time, if this venture whiffs, that’s a whole lot of resources spent for nothing just because you want to play Netflix games on your $50 retro gaming controller that you insisted on buying.
Some games like Wonderputt Forever and Poinpy are designed for mobile phones, so it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt to bigger screens and Netflix’s limited interface.
As Netflix’s subscription costs go up and the benefits seem to go down, the addition of quality indie games could be a lifeline. This new gaming venture might be what Netflix needs to keep subscribers who’ve run out of shows to binge.
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