Netflix starts testing video game streaming Leave a comment


Netflix isn’t just for watching things anymore.

The streaming giant announced in a blog post on Monday that it will finally allow users to play video games on their TVs and computers using the Netflix app and website. To be perfectly clear, this is a limited test at the moment; “a small number of members” in Canada and the U.K. will be able to access games through Netflix on TVs starting immediately, with support for PC and Mac coming soon.

It’s not just limited by region or device, either. Right now, only two games are able to be streamed via Netflix: the indie hit Oxenfree and Molehew’s Mining Adventure. On TVs, games will be controllable via a game controller smartphone app that Netflix snuck out into the world recently, so you don’t need to go out and buy an Xbox controller or anything like that. PC and Mac users can use a keyboard and mouse for input.

Netflix has been flirting with gaming for a while now, but somewhat counterintuitively, streaming wasn’t part of the equation. Instead, you downloaded games like Oxenfree to a mobile device and logged into your Netflix account to gain access to the game for “free.” In other words, it worked just like any other game, just with the added barrier of needing a Netflix account to play.

Game streaming has been trendy in the industry in the last few years, with mixed results. Google went all-in on its Stadia platform in 2019, only to shut it down completely earlier this year. Xbox, on the other hand, has found some success by offering streaming as an option to those who subscribe to its popular Game Pass service. The obvious appeal is that you don’t need an expensive console or PC to play games via streaming, and the obvious downside is that streaming can introduce unwelcome input latency and visual problems if your connection is poor.

But hey, at least it’s another way to play Oxenfree, a game I have been told many times I should check out.





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