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Streaming Giant Netflix Begins UK Cloud Gaming Beta Test

Tuesday, Aug 15th, 2023 (8:13 am) - Score 2,904
Netflix-UK-Cloud-Gaming-Screen

Internet video stream giant Netflix has continued its steady move into the video gaming market this week by launching a “limited beta test” of their new remote play cloud gaming service, which is currently only available to a “small number” of broadband using customers in the United Kingdom and Canada on selected TVs.

Over the years we’ve seen quite a few companies, and even the odd broadband ISP (e.g. ZYBRE), attempt to launch a cloud-based video gaming service. Such services generally allow you to remote play games by streaming them over your home broadband connection, as opposed to downloading the whole game to your local devices.

However, quite a few of those services have failed (e.g. Onlive, Google Stadia), often after struggling to attract enough customers to make it viable. In that respect, Netflix does at least have one big advantage – a massive and well-established pre-existing customer base.

Netflix has in fact already made some moves into the video gaming space, as existing customers will already be aware. Back in 2021 they added a bunch of very basic mobile games to their platform for iOS / Android users (here) and, prior to that, they also experimented with interactive TV shows (e.g. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch).

The company’s new cloud-based gaming trial is intended to build on and go beyond those. The goal is to make it available on every device where members enjoy Netflix – TVs, computers, and mobile. But for now, their beta test is rather limited.

Netflix’s Cloud Gaming Beta

The beta test is due to go live in the “next few weeks“, although it will initially only be available to customers on PC and Mac computers through the Netflix.com website and on “supported browsers” (none are specified). The games will be playable via a Keyboard and Mouse, although your Smartphone can also be converted to act as a controller for the TV / Display output.

Initially only the following devices will support the beta, although over time Netflix aims to expand these. The list is very general, but naturally you’ll need to be able to download modern releases of the Netflix app to benefit – assuming you’re one of the few initial testers.

Supported Devices (Netflix Games Test)
Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Players
➤ Chromecast with Google TV
➤ LG TVs
➤ Nvidia Shield TV
➤ Roku devices and TVs
➤ Samsung Smart TVs
➤ Walmart ONN

At first there will only be two games on offer to help test the service and both look to be fairly basic – ‘Oxenfree‘ from Night School Studio (users of their mobile gaming service will already know this one), a Netflix Game Studio, and ‘Molehew’s Mining Adventure‘, a gem-mining arcade game.

Neither are likely to challenge modern triple AAA game titles anytime soon, but then this is just a test, and it remains unclear how far Netflix will take this.

Mike Verdu, Netflix’s VP of Games, said:

“We’ve been focused on creating a great gaming experience for our members since 2021 when we added mobile games to Netflix. 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. Today, we’re taking the first step in making games playable on every device where our members enjoy Netflix — TVs, computers, and mobile.

By making games available on more devices, we hope to make games even easier to play for our members around the world. While we’re still very early in our games journey, we’re excited to bring joy to members with games. We look forward to hearing feedback from our beta testers and sharing more as we continue on the road ahead.”

At present there are no details on any specific broadband speed requirements, although in the absence of such details it’s probably wise to follow Netflix’s general video streaming recommendations for the service – 3Mbps+ for 720p HD video quality, 5Mbps+ for full 1080p HD and 15Mbps+ for 4K (UltraHD).

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo 10BaseT says:

    Can it be worse than regular Netflix video offer?

    1. Avatar photo BTMan says:

      No – and the price is sure to rise again shortly to compensate.

  2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    startups have failed, google failed, MS seems to be able to get by through vertical integration of Azure and Xbox, but it’s not as if we’ve all replaced consoles with dumb terminals.

    why does netflix think it can do any better? do they have too much money and need to spend it on frivolities? perhaps they could lower prices.

    1. Avatar photo Clive peters says:

      do they literally just stream the game video or are certain components downloaded to device first?

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      both, I gather. There’s the Game Pass which gives you access to a load of games to play on your own PC/xbox, and then there’s Cloud Gaming (Beta) which is streaming and works on various devices

  3. Avatar photo BTMan says:

    Geforce Now is the only decent viable option in my opinion if you have games you own and want to play in the cloud (mainly steam). Xbox cloud is excellent if you don’t own the games. I’ve used them both over the past year.

  4. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    I presume if this does become a thing after the beta, it will be separate from the video streaming or an add-on. I doubt people would want to pay more for something they may not use.
    I doubt I will even be using Netflix by the time it happens anyway

  5. Avatar photo Bill says:

    No thanks I rather own my games via piracy.

    1. Avatar photo Gates says:

      Cool story, bro

  6. Avatar photo Maqbool Hussain says:

    Take a leap of faith and click here to explore a proven money-making opportunity that has transformed the lives of many.

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