Since dipping its toes into gaming two years ago, Netflix’s game titles have been limited to mobile, with many of your favorite Netflix games discoverable only through a single row on the app’s home screen or via a dedicated tab at the bottom. As such, it’s easy to miss out on this part of the streaming platform. Netflix is now bringing its gaming feature to a lot more places with a new beta test that allows users to actually play games on their TVs and computers.
Confirming a previous rumor, Netflix’s Vice President for Games, Mike Verdu, wrote on a blog post that the streaming giant has begun publicly testing its game titles on larger screens beyond mobile devices using Stadia-like streaming technology. So while the service still bans password sharing without you paying extra, it is trying to sweeten the pot by granting access to a small selection of titles from your TV or PC.
Netflix’s game selection for bigger screens is pretty limited right now, with only two games available at launch: Oxenfree from Night School Studio and the gem-mining arcade game Molehew’s Mining Adventure. To play these games on your TV, you’ll need to turn your smartphone into a controller by scanning a QR code that appears on the TV screen after you pick a game. After that, you’ll be granted access to the Game Controller app.
An iOS version of that same app quietly showed up on Apple’s App Store last week (via Mashable), so the announcement is not entirely surprising. Unfortunately for Android users, it appears that the controller app has yet to go live on the Play Store.
In the next few weeks, users will be able to play games on PCs and Macs using a keyboard and mouse, but they can only do so through Netflix’s website on supported browsers. However, only a small set of subscribers in Canada and the UK are able to experience the beta test at the moment, assuming they use any of the supported TV models from LG, Roku, and Samsung. Netflix games will also be available on some of the leading streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV media players, Chromecast with Google TV, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices, and Walmart ONN. Netflix says more devices will join the list “on an ongoing basis.”
Netflix’s existing game catalog is not as big as some of its competitors, but it’s still a nice bonus if you’re already a subscriber. More importantly, putting these games on TVs could help people find them more easily and make Netflix’s gaming branch more appealing to people who are on the fence about subscribing.