Netflix's Cloud Gaming: The future of streaming and play

Did you ever imagine that your favourite TV streaming service would have an in-house gaming hub? Well, Netflix has again surpassed our imagination with its creation. Read on to know more!

Netflix's Cloud Gaming: The future of streaming and play

Friday October 13, 2023,

4 min Read

Are you an avid gamer and a movie buff? The contradiction of choosing games over movies or movies over games must be indeed tough!

What if we told you that your favourite TV streaming service would have also an in-house gaming hub? Well, Netflix has decided to expand its range of services beyond streaming and venture into gaming.

Amidst the flood of TV streaming services competing for viewership, Netflix has managed to gain a strong global foothold with its movies, TV shows and original content. And now, it’s venturing into the world of gaming. The streaming giant has already dipped its toes into mobile gaming with titles inspired by its content library. 

Netflix has already sealed a licensing agreement with BonusXP, the studio behind 'Stranger Things 3: The Game. The limited beta testing of cloud-streamed video gaming, which has already begun on 14th August 2023 in the United Kingdom and Canada, exemplifies their commitment to expanding and diversifying their range of services.

So, are you curious about Netflix's cloud gaming service? Wondering about its functionality, mechanics, and available game titles? Discover everything you need to know about the streaming giant's newest gaming venture right here.

Netflix: The all-new comprehensive game streaming service

Netflix Series

Although Netflix forayed into the cloud gaming segment in 2021, the games were available only on Android and iOS. This new roll-out will enable subscribers to dive into the gaming world on PCs and TVs, confirming nothing but the fact that– Netflix aims to own an all-encompassing virtual space. 

And this was confirmed by Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings: Netflix considers itself to be in competition with Fortnite, the video game, rather than HBO! Further, in a press conference, the Vice President of Netflix’s external, Leanne Loombe said “We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen and be frictionless and provide the accessibility into gaming experiences.”

Netflix's shift towards cloud gaming seamlessly aligns with its data-centric strategy. With its proficiency in dissecting user preferences, the cloud gaming service promises to deepen its insights even more. Cloud gaming aims to broaden its ecosystem, granting users quality experiences on a range of devices, and liberating them from hardware constraints.

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The functionality: how to play available games

Currently, Netflix offers two games: Oxenfree (originally created by Night School Studio), and a fresh addition, Molehew's Mining Adventure, characterised as a “gem-mining arcade game” by Mike Verdu.

While you use your television for gaming, the game control is facilitated through your smartphone. On Android devices, the controller can be accessed directly within the Netflix app, whereas for iOS users, a dedicated controller app needs to be downloaded. 

However, if you're accessing the games via the web, you'll be able to play them using a standard keyboard and mouse setup.

Currently, the following TV devices support Netflix's games:

  1. Chromecast with Google TV
  2. Samsung Smart TVs
  3. Amazon Fire TV streaming media players
  4. Nvidia Shield TV
  5. LG TVs
  6. Roku devices and TVs
  7. Walmart Onn

Verdu assures that they plan to add more devices “on an ongoing basis.”

The competition is fierce!

Entering the gaming realm is no simple feat. The online gaming industry is fiercely competitive, featuring heavyweight contenders like Apple’s Arcade, Microsoft's Xcloud Game and Google's Stadia. Netflix's hurdle lies in carving out a distinctive space, capitalising on its extensive user base and carefully curated content.

Regulatory scrutiny may eventually overturn the limitations on all devices. Therefore, Netflix's omnipresence does not guarantee instant success.

The critics’ verdict 

According to critics, Netflix's foray into cloud gaming services might divert attention from their primary content creation business. Given that gamers are accustomed to buying individual titles, concerns have also risen regarding the alignment of cloud gaming with their subscription model.

The success of this endeavour depends heavily on flawless execution. In the gaming realm, user experience reigns supreme, and even minor issues like latency or connectivity problems can discourage users. Transitioning from passive streaming to interactive gaming requires resource allocation and a distinct skill set. Netflix must guarantee a seamless and enjoyable experience to sustain user engagement.

As the lines between streaming and gaming blur, one thing is clear: the future of entertainment is here, and it's more interactive than ever. What are your thoughts? Will Netflix succeed in its new venture, or is this a risky move that might not yield the desired results?