Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

Backing up a Bloomberg report from earlier this year, Netflix has quietly released a new “game controller” app for iOS, intended to allow subscribers to play its games on their TVs. However, the main wrinkle in all of this is that it doesn’t actually do anything right now.

As noted by TechCrunch, the Netflix Game Controller app (as it’s officially known) made its way to the iOS App Store earlier this week with no fuss and no official word from Netflix. Fortunately, there’s little mystery surrounding its purpose; The app comes with a full description explaining, “Play games on your TV using 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’s description also clearly states that the feature is “coming soon,” and sure enough, downloading the app and launching it doesn’t do much at all. It do offer a message informing users, “To get started, choose a game on your TV and follow the prompts to connect,” but without any matching functionality currently built into Netflix’s main app, that’s as far as it goes .

ZacBobisKing, the only user to leave an App Store review for the UK’s Netflix Game Controller to date, quite reasonably declares the app “useless” in its current state, leaving it a furious single star. I don’t think anyone would disagree.

Oxenfree 2 can be played as part of a Netflix subscription, or purchased on other platforms.

However, there’s an additional glimpse of how the Netflix Game Controller will likely function when the time is right, thanks to a single App Store screenshot. It shows off a virtual gamepad setup, with a color scheme vaguely reminiscent of a GameCube controller, which will presumably be the default layout for those looking to work their way through the likes of Oxenfree 2, Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon, and Raji: An Ancient Epic using their phone.

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These are just three of the more than 70 games Netflix has added to its streaming service since dipping its toes into the world of gaming in 2021. In those early days, Netflix repeatedly emphasized that its initial focus would be mobile, but in recent times it has taken steps that indicate its gaming ambitions are starting to grow.

In addition to a number of notable studio acquisitions — including Triple Town and Cozy Grove developer Spry Fox, The Walking Dead mobile developer Next Games, and Oxenfree creator Night School Studio — Netflix has established its own in-house development team to create “world-class” titles, at least one of which appears to be a triple-A PC game. Netflix’s sudden focus on the big screen through the launch of the Game Controller app, even though it’s currently doing nothing, is clearly a continuation of those escalating plans.

Netflix has given no indication of when the new Game Controller app might move beyond “useless” (thanks again, ZacBobisKing) curiosities, but I’ve asked for comment.

By Admin