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Netflix are testing their own game streaming service

A “small number” of users will be able to stream Oxenfree and Molehew’s Mining Adventure during limited beta test

A TV and laptop showing the beta of Netflix's cloud gaming platform, while a phone displays a touch interface controller
Image credit: Netflix

I keep forgetting that Netflix have their own games offering, despite the streaming giant keeping it well stocked with a fairly solid library of free (if you’re a Netflix subscriber anyway) games - including the likes of Oxenfree 2, Kentucky Route Zero and Immortality. If you wanted some more proof that Netflix is pretty serious about this whole “getting into video games” thing, the movie streaming platform-turned-games publisher is now looking to unite their two fronts by experimenting with game streaming.

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Netflix’s game streaming will work much like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming and Sony’s PlayStation Plus Premium, letting players hop straight into a game running off a remote server somewhere without needing to download it first.

Of course, unlike Xbox and PlayStation, Netflix don’t have a handy game controller they can conveniently repurpose as an easy to play games. Well, they didn’t, anyway, as the company recently launched an iOS app that turns your iPhone into a flat, glossy GameCube-esque controller that can be used with games streamed directly to your TV. I’m sure it controls just fine.

As well as beaming games to a supported TV directly or via something like a Chromecast or Roku, you can fire them up via the Netflix website in a browser on your PC or Mac, using a trusty keyboard and mouse to play. Phew.

Netflix’s current beta test is strictly described as being “limited”, with “a small number of members” in the UK and Canada currently able to try it out via their TVs. PC and Mac support will roll out in the coming weeks, with the beta aimed at making the experience better over time.

A screenshot of the Oxenfree characters in a room full of radios and electronic equipment.

The beta test is also limited to just two games: the gem-mining arcade game Molehew’s Mining Adventure (no, I also haven’t heard of it) and the original - and still absolutely brilliant - Oxenfree. As you might remember, Netflix picked up Oxenfree developers Night School Studio in 2021, ahead of this year’s still-good-but-slightly-less-brilliant sequel.

With reports last year that Netflix are also working on a “brand-new AAA PC game” - with talk of first- and third-person shooters and Unreal Engine - perhaps we’ll see this new streaming technology roll out just in time for players to try and play a fast-paced shooter on their TV using a touch interface controller.

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