Netflix has released a new iOS app called Game Controller, and while there hasn’t been a formal announcement its purpose seems pretty clear. It will allow you to use your phone or tablet as a controller while playing Netflix Games on your television.

Clues about the Game Controller app’s existence date back to May, when new code was spotted in the Netflix iOS app by Macrumors contributor Steve Moser. The ultimate goal for Netflix Games, the company has stated, is for games to be “playable on every Netflix device that you have.”

As you can see, the gamepad layout is minimalistic with a virtual thumbstick on the left and four buttons on the right. It’s not as versatile as a physical gamepad with dual sticks and shoulder buttons, but it should be sufficient for the kind of gaming experience that Netflix Games is focused on.

Adding big screen gaming could provide a welcome shot in the arm for Netflix Games, which seemed to be struggling to attract users early on. Last year at this time only around 1% of Netflix subscribers had checked out any of the games. That’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, however. With over 220 million subscribers at that point there were already 1.7 million daily Netflix Games users.

Things seem to have improved since then, though the company is reluctant to share any actual numbers. That’s likely because it’s still trying to figure out what exactly Netflix Games is going to be. Right now, Netflix seems focused on building relationships with its developer partners and, possibly, bringing cloud gaming and an in-house AAA release to Netflix subscribers.

via Ars Technica

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

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  1. My TV? That’s more than a little presumptuous.
    All the large screens I have are computer monitors and I have never had interest in getting a netflix subscription.

    1. Yeah, I unsubscribed not long ago when I couldn’t share my €17.99 subscription with my 9 year old niece anymore. I still pay €3.99 for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max is included with my Internet/TV/Phone package but it would be €9.99, I’m part of my sister’s family subscription of AppleTV+(look Netflix, legal, supported sharing) but if not, it would be €6.99 and Disney+ with Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, AMC, and everything is €8.99. None other than Netflix is blocking people from sharing the subscription with their family or forces people to pay extra for better quality.
      So you might wonder why Netflix costs between the double and quadruple price of the other streaming services.