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Netflix Initiates U.S. Testing for Its Cloud Gaming Service

Netflix extends its cloud gaming testing to the U.S., aiming to provide a comprehensive entertainment experience by integrating gaming with its popular shows.

Netflix Expands Cloud Gaming Tests to the U.S.

Netflix is no longer just about movies and series; it’s venturing boldly into the world of cloud gaming. After initiating tests in Canada and the U.K., the streaming giant is expanding its cloud gaming trials to the U.S., a market rich in gaming enthusiasts.

Last fall, Netflix’s entry into the gaming sphere was signaled by its VP of Games, Mike Verdu. Unlike conventional platforms, Netflix envisions its gaming service as an added perk. Verdu clarified that they aren't positioning themselves as a console replacement, emphasizing a unique approach to the gaming sector.

Challenging the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming and Amazon Luna, Netflix differentiates itself by offering games free with its subscription. Many of these titles will have a familiar feel, resonating with popular Netflix originals like “Squid Game,” “Black Mirror,” and even potentially a "Grand Theft Auto" rendition.

Acquisitions have been instrumental in shaping Netflix’s gaming aspirations. The company has procured multiple gaming studios, including Boss Fight Entertainment and Finland’s Next Games. It’s not just acquisitions; Netflix is also investing in internal game studios, like its Helsinki-based one led by a Zynga ex-GM.

Critics ponder if Netflix’s gaming venture is a strategic move, especially when platforms like TikTok and YouTube are rivaling its core streaming business. With YouTube recently surpassing Netflix in popularity among U.S. teens, the stakes are high.

Yet, Netflix's vision is broad and inclusive. The game streaming on TV-connected devices includes titles like "Oxenfree" and gem-mining arcade game, Molehew’s Mining Adventure. Their compatibility list is exhaustive, with Amazon Fire TV, LG TVs, Roku, and more, with plans to support additional devices soon.

To facilitate gameplay on TVs, Netflix uses mobile phones via a specialized app. An iPhone game controller app was already spotted by TechCrunch before the U.S. tests.

As Netflix unfolds its cloud gaming chapter, the primary aim is refining the gaming experience during these trials, ensuring users get a seamless entertainment blend. The next few months will surely be crucial as Netflix seeks to redefine its position in the ever-evolving digital entertainment world.