Netflix has taken a step forward in expanding its gaming offerings with the launch of a new app called ‘Netflix Game Controller.’ This innovative app functions as a touchscreen gamepad, complete with an analogue stick for movement and a set of action buttons on the right. The app is currently available for free download on the Apple App Store, although it appears that Netflix mistakenly released it prematurely. While there is no official statement from the platform regarding its purpose or an anticipated Android release, the product description suggests that it will be available soon.
According to a report by Gizmodo, the app currently only prompts users to select a game and does not offer any further details on connectivity. However, it can be assumed that the app will support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. In an interview with TechCrunch, Mike Verdu, Vice President of Netflix Gaming, confirmed that the company is exploring the possibility of offering cloud gaming. However, Netflix does not intend to compete with major players like PlayStation or Xbox. Instead, it aims to provide additional value to its subscribers. It remains uncertain whether the games will run directly on the TV with the phone functioning solely as a controller, or if the phone screen will sync with the TV screen to stream the game content. This is reminiscent of the Steam Link app, which allows users to mirror their active Steam window from a PC or laptop onto a mobile device with minimal delay.
This development is great news for Netflix subscribers, as they will continue to have exclusive access to mobile games in the near future. However, password sharing with friends or family residing elsewhere will still be prohibited. Earlier this year, Netflix announced plans to add 40 new titles to its service, including both original IPs and collaborations with external partners such as Ubisoft and Super Evil Megacorp. Recent releases include the mobile port of Raji: An Ancient Epic and The Queen’s Gambit Chess, based on the popular limited series starring Anya Taylor-Joy. The collaboration with Ubisoft has already brought the game Mighty Quest: Rogue Palace to mobile, with an upcoming Assassin’s Creed title in the works.
It remains to be seen how these video games will be received as value additions, particularly in light of Netflix’s recent crackdown on password sharing. Secondary account holders now have to enter verification codes every 31 days and their IP addresses are monitored to prevent unauthorized access. Despite this, the company gained 6 million new members in the second quarter, bringing its total subscriber count to 238 million. Earlier this year, Netflix also ventured into the restaurant business with an exclusive eatery in Los Angeles that showcases food featured in its culinary programming.
There is currently no information available regarding when Netflix plans to bring its games library to the TV. The Netflix Game Controller app is now available for download on iOS.
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Basant Kasayap is an entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood to regional cinema, she offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.