Netflix has quietly released a game controller in Apple’s App Store, confirming rumours that the streaming service may soon let you play games on your TV.
First spotted by TechCrunch, the new Netflix Game Controller app seems fairly barebones at the moment. Screenshots on its App Store show off a minimalist controller layout on a plain black background, featuring a virtual thumbstick on the left and four multicoloured buttons on the right. Said buttons use the same XYAB labelling used on Xbox and Nintendo Switch controllers, but are resized and rearranged into a formation that somewhat resembles a paw print.
“Coming soon to Netflix,” the free app’s brief 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.”
Upon opening the Netflix Game Controller, users are directed to choose a game via their television, then follow the directions to connect to the controller. A message also states that “Netflix Games on TV are in beta,” and that not all devices are currently supported.
The controller is currently unavailable on Android, while the App Store listing states that it requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 15.0 or later. It is unclear which games will be compatible with the controller.
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Netflix declined to comment when reached by Mashable.
While Netflix is primarily known for its film and television streaming, the service branched out into games in Nov. 2021 and has been quietly building its catalogue since. Subscribers currently have access to over 50 mobile games on Android and iOS, including popular titles like OXENFREE, Immortality, and Into the Breach, as well as Netflix exclusives based on its in-house shows, such as The Queen’s Gambit Chess, Too Hot to Handle: Love is a Game, and Nailed It! Baking Bash.
The company has been exploring cloud gaming for some time now, though this doesn’t mean it’s about to turn into the next Xbox Games Pass. Netflix’s vice president of gaming Mike Verdu has said that they consider games a “value add” rather than a tentpole attraction, and don’t intend to replace dedicated gaming consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch.