Netflix seems to want to become an Xbox competitor on all our screens

Netflix wants to turn your TV into a game console by turning a smartphone into a controller.

Netflix logo in an old TV set
Netflix games soon on TV, with a smartphone as a controller // Source: Bastian Riccardi on Unsplash

Faced with the exodus of its subscribers, Netflix is ​​trying to regain its appeal by diversifying its offerings. New packages, new features, new program formats… but also a new service with Netflix Gaming.

As with Apple Arcade, this service is included in some offerings from the SVOD giant and provides access to a catalog of mobile games. But Netflix’s video game ambitions don’t end there, and we’ll soon see an expansion of capabilities in this area.

Gaming on TV

Currently, Netflix Gaming is a catalog of games on smartphones, but they could soon appear on other platforms as reported Bloomberg. This information is confirmed by Steve Moser, contributor for MacRumorsindicating that a piece of code from the Netflix app on iOS hides a future feature: using the iPhone as a gamepad for TV.

Netflix wants to make games playable on any device by turning your iPhone into a controller for Netflix on a TV. Code hidden in their iOS app: “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?” $NFLX cloud gaming soon?

—Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) March 30, 2023

So we can find sentences like “a game on your TV needs a controller to play, do you want to use this phone as a controller?” Or ” Using gamepad“.

Big ambitions

For now, Netflix offers a catalog of about fifty games, with titles from its franchises ( Narcos, Stranger things…), games already known for their excellence on other platforms (the sequel to Unknown soldiers, In the break…), or exclusive likeReigns: Three Kingdoms. We even findTwelve minutesa game also available on PS5 and Xbox Series.

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Netflix has also promised that 40 extra games will be added to the service this year and that cloud gaming is also planned. Netflix could therefore overshadow Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now, among others.

Present on all televisions and accessible with a simple phone used as a controller, this service could soon become an essential part of the game, but Netflix will have to face many challenges to do so.

Netflix and cloud gaming

Offering cloud gaming is not easy, Google can confirm that. It is necessary to propose a good architecture so that the experience remains fluid, a good catalog of games, a coherent economic model… The formula is far from easy to master completely.

Furthermore, in order to fully compete with today’s cloud gaming leaders, Netflix will have to manage to show games that are a little more ambitious than those currently available. If Netflix Gaming is a perfect mobile pastime, it will take a much more ambitious catalog to establish itself permanently on 4K and 8K TVs from 55 to 85 inches. And also a real controller, because the touch screen of our smartphones will be limited very soon…

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Ana has been with businesscraze for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesscraze team, Ana seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.