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Is Netflix Becoming the “Netflix of Gaming”?

For years, there has been speculation about the emergence of a gaming platform that would be the equivalent of Netflix, offering unlimited gaming on any connected device. OnLive and Google Stadia were touted as potential candidates, but they did not have the breadth or business plan to fully claim that title. Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia's GeForce Now have also been mentioned, but they too fall short in certain areas.

Antstream Arcade, a cloud gaming platform with over 1,400 games, caters to a niche audience of retro gamers, making it a less mass-market contender. However, it seems that Netflix might be the company to finally achieve the “Netflix of gaming” status. They have launched a beta test of a “Games on TV” service, an extension of their mobile games offering that allows users to play games on their televisions using their phones as controllers.

Currently available in Canada and the UK on select TVs, the service uses cloud streaming to deliver game video to the TV, with user commands sent back via the Netflix controller app. The beta test is currently limited to two games, Oxenfree and Molehew's Mining Adventure, but if successful, the service will expand to a wider audience and more devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, LG and Samsung Smart TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku, and the Walmart ONN streamer.

While the device lineup shows promise, the real test lies in the game library. Netflix currently offers around 70 games on its mobile app, but it's unclear what types of games and how many will be available on the cloud streaming platform. The existing games are primarily mobile titles, more akin to Apple Arcade than console games like FIFA or Call of Duty.

To truly become the “Netflix of gaming,” Netflix needs to offer a wide variety of games that cater to both mobile and console players. Additionally, the issue of touchscreen controls needs to be addressed for a seamless gaming experience. Only time will tell if Netflix can deliver on these fronts and fulfill the long-awaited dream of a “Netflix of gaming.”

If not, perhaps we should start considering other contenders, such as a “Disney+ of gaming.”