Netflix starts testing game streaming on select devices, smart TVs and desktop browsers

Some folks in Canada and the UK can now try 'Oxenfree' on certain TVs.


Netflix is officially bringing its games to more devices. So far, the company's impressive library of games has only been available on iOS and Android. Now, though, Netflix is starting to use its streaming tech to publicly test its titles on TVs and computers.

"Our goal has always been to have a game for everyone, and we are working hard to meet members where they are with an accessible, smooth and ubiquitous service," Mike Verdu, Netflix's vice-president of games, wrote in a blog post. "Today, we’re taking the first step in making games playable on every device where our members enjoy Netflix."

The test appears to be very limited for now. Just two games will be available at the outset: Oxenfree (Netflix just released the sequel as its first game from an in-house studio) and gem-mining arcade title Molehew’s Mining Adventure.

The beta is only open to a small number of Netflix subscribers in the UK and Canada on Amazon Fire TV streaming media players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, NVIDIA Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung smart TVs and Walmart ONN. The company will add support for more devices later.

To play Netflix games on a TV, you can use a controller app that the company just released. When you select a game, your TV will display a QR code. Scan this with your phone to use it as your controller.

The games will also be available to try on Netflix's website via supported desktop browsers in the next few weeks. You'll be able to use your keyboard and mouse to control them on PCs and Macs.

Netflix says the goal of the test is to put its game streaming tech and controller app through their paces. Given the complex nature of rights agreements with various publishers, it's not yet clear whether Netflix will bring all of the games in its library to TVs and web browsers. For instance, you'll need a Netflix subscription to play Kentucky Route Zero, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge or Immortality natively on your phone, but those games are all available on other platforms. In any case, there's a big new player coming to the cloud gaming space.