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Netflix just bet big on gaming - it's secretly released a game controller

From streaming shows to cloud gaming, the platform attempts entertainment domination.

Netflix just bet big on gaming - it's secretly released a game controller
Danielle de Wolfe
09 August 2023

The launch of games on Netflix for mobile devices was a giant step for the streaming platform, serving up exclusive show spin-offs like Too Hot To Handle and The Queen's Gambit Chess.

Now, it appears the service has quietly released a game controller app hidden away in Apple's app store.

Slipping under the radar, there's been no shouting from the rooftops about the launch, with what can only be described as a 'bare bones' app display visible upon download.

It looks to confirm rumours that the streaming service may soon allow users to play games on their TVs rather than limiting them to mobile devices.

A further move by the platform into the cloud gaming arena, the launch is but the latest branch-off in terms of content by the platform.

It follows recent comments from Netflix Vice-President of gaming Mike Verdu, who clarified he didn't see the platform competing with established names like Playstation or Xbox.

Netflix has secretly released a game controller on Apple's app store

Speaking at a Tech Crunch event last year, he said the company would be opening a new gaming studio led by Chacko Sonny, the former executive producer on Overwatch at Blizzard Entertainment.

However, the gaming big-wig clarified he didn’t see Netflix competing in the same space as PlayStation or Xbox, however.
“It’s a value add. We’re not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement,” he added.

It follows the introduction of its interactive 'choose your own' film and television titles, including Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror and new interactive rom-com Choose Love starring Laura Marano.

As mentioned, in terms of aesthetics, Netflix has kept things uber minimal, with basic buttons on the new controller appearing to mimic a console-inspired design.

Joystick on the left, buttons including A,B,X and Y are visible on the right, this simplistic design is more than likely to develop in the near future following further rolling updates.

"Coming soon to Netflix," the app's minimal description reads.

"Play games on your TV with the Netflix Game Controller. This Game Controller app pairs with your TV and allows you to play games on Netflix using your phone or mobile device."

Netflix has secretly released a game controller on Apple's app store

Pairing with your TV in order to play the games on the big screen, the app looks to elevate mobile-only gaming through the Netflix service.

What looks to be something of a soft launch ahead of a wider, highly-publicised release, it's but the latest digital expansion by the streaming giant.

Currently, games available to play on the platform include updates on arcade classics including Sonic Prime Dash featuring everyone's favourite blue hedgehog, card game Solitaire and Cut The Rope.