In a potentially significant step for interactive entertainment, Netflix is gearing up to bring its gaming catalogue from mobile screens directly to televisions across the UK.
While Netflix has long held a foothold in the gaming arena (following its foray into mobile gaming in 2021), the streaming titan is now poised to transition its gaming experience from the confines of mobile phones to the expansive realms of TVs and computers.
The company’s objective has been consistent: to diversify its offerings and cater to the gaming interests of its vast membership (at no extra cost).
In line with this, Netflix announced yesterday its plans to broaden the gaming experience. Soon, members will be able to access games not just on mobiles but also on TVs, PCs and Macs (via supported browsers), with a unique controller (see more details below).
For now, it’s a beta test, so only a select few will have access to those games – but if all goes well, this marks the future of Netflix’s gaming efforts.
Bringing Netflix’s Games To TVs In The UK
The UK has been chosen as one of the initial regions for Netflix’s gaming beta test, along with Canada.
The beta test is a limited initiative aimed at a select group of Netflix members. This phase is crucial for Netflix as it will provide invaluable insights into user behaviour, game preferences, and potential technical challenges.
Two games have been chosen for this initial phase: Oxenfree, a narrative-driven supernatural thriller from Night School Studio, and Molehew’s Mining Adventure, an arcade-style game that promises hours of gem-mining fun.
These games represent a mix of deep storytelling and casual gaming, catering to a broad spectrum of gamers.
Netflix’s Games on TV will operate on select devices from the initial partners’ list, including Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs and Samsung Smart TVs.
In a few weeks, support will also be added to PCs and Macs, through Netflix’s website, on supported browsers.
One of the standout features of this beta test is the introduction of mobile phones as controllers for TV gaming.
This innovative approach eliminates the need for additional hardware, making the transition to gaming smoother for many Netflix members.
Netflix’s Evolution Into A Gaming Powerhouse
Netflix’s decision to venture into gaming is not a mere diversification strategy; it’s a reflection of the evolving entertainment landscape.
As the lines between film, TV, and gaming continue to blur, Netflix is positioning itself at the intersection of these mediums.
By offering gaming benefits alongside its traditional streaming service, Netflix is enhancing the value proposition of its subscription (while prices keep changing and – mostly – going up).
Once a wider roll-out begins, members will not only get access to a vast library of films and TV shows, but also a growing catalogue of exclusive games on TV (and on their mobiles).
This integrated approach could redefine entertainment consumption, making Netflix a one-stop-shop for all things entertainment.
Furthermore, the ad-free gaming experience, devoid of any extra fees or in-app purchases, sets Netflix apart in the gaming industry. It’s a bold move, challenging the prevalent microtransaction model in many modern mobile games.
The Streaming Games Arena: Netflix vs. Amazon Luna
The realm of cloud gaming is rapidly evolving, with major players vying for dominance.
As Netflix makes its foray into this space, it’s essential to understand the broader landscape and the competition it faces, particularly from Amazon’s Luna.
Amazon Luna: Turning Fire TV into a Gaming Console
Amazon Luna, Amazon’s cloud gaming service, has been making waves since its introduction in the US. Earlier this year, Luna made its grand entrance into the UK.
Luna allows users to transform their Fire TV device, among other devices, into a full-fledged gaming console. The beauty of Luna lies in its ability to provide instant access to console-quality games without the need for expensive hardware.
The service offers several pricing tiers, catering to various gaming appetites. Amazon Prime members enjoy an added perk: a rotating selection of free games every month.
To further enhance the gaming experience, Amazon has introduced the Luna Wireless Controller, compatible with a range of Bluetooth-connected devices, from Fire TV to smartphones.
Cloud Gaming: The Future of Entertainment
Cloud gaming is still in its nascent stages in terms of widespread popularity. However, its potential is undeniable. Giants like Sony and Microsoft have already ventured into this market.
The concept is simple: the heavy lifting, in terms of game processing, is done on powerful remote servers. This eliminates the need for high-end gaming consoles at home.
Instead, games are streamed in real-time via broadband, with user interactions being relayed back instantaneously.
Amazon’s Luna stands out in this space due to its versatility. Unlike some competitors, Luna isn’t confined to a single device. It’s compatible with various platforms, from PCs to tablets.
For those wanting to game on their TV, a simple Fire TV stick suffices. Luna’s games can be controlled using a smartphone or the dedicated Luna Wireless Controller.
While Netflix’s gaming initiative is commendable, it’s entering a market with established and emerging players.
For now, Netflix is venturing more into the ‘casual gaming’ market – but that market – for TVs – is also growing. A couple of months ago, we reported that TV gaming is even coming to Freeview boxes, via Netgem’s Netbox.
Netflix’s gaming beta test in the UK is just the beginning of the company’s ambitious journey into the world of gaming.
As they gather feedback and refine their offerings, it’s evident that Netflix is not just dipping its toes in the gaming waters but is poised to make a significant splash.