Netflix’s TV Gaming Plan Allows iPhone to Be Used as Controller
Netflix is working to extend its nascent video game platform to TVs and part of the plan involves allowing subscribers to use their iPhone as a controller, reports Bloomberg.
According to the report, app developer Steve Moser shared code he discovered hidden within Netflix’s iOS mobile app that contains references to games played on TVs, including one line which reads “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”
Netflix launched its gaming platform on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices in November 2021. Games are released as individual apps on the iOS App Store, while the full catalog of games is maintained in the Netflix app. Many of the titles are tie-ins to popular TV shows, such as “Stranger Things 3: The Game.”
Similar to the way Apple Arcade operates, there are no ads, additional fees or in-app purchases included in the games, with the idea being that customers remain engaged with the streaming service while they are waiting for new installments of TV shows and series hosted by the platform.
As Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman notes, expanding gaming to TVs would be a major extension of the service, as Netflix is now built into many smart TVs and is available on several platforms, including Apple TV.
Ultimately, Netflix plans to launch a cloud gaming service that could let users stream games without installing them locally. Such a plan would enable the company to offer many more titles than it does currently, potentially providing competition to existing cloud gaming services offered by the likes of Microsoft, and may even rival non-cloud-based platforms such as Apple Arcade.