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Netflix goes big screen with game controller app on mobile

The app doesn’t yet have any games available, but we can hazard a guess from leaks earlier this year
Netflix goes big screen with game controller app on mobile
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Netflix has released an as-yet unutilised app that will allow subscribers to play games on big screens, named “Netflix Game Controller”.

Text for the app on the iOS app store reads: "“Coming soon to Netflix. 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.”

The app only mentions that titles are “coming soon” however it does offer an idea of how Netflix will be facilitating games on the big screen. Netflix Games currently offers a wide catalogue of titles to players from across the spectrum of mobile games, all downloadable on mobile devices from the Netflix app. These include exclusive titles such as Desta: The Memories Between. Bringing gaming to the big screen could be a major coup in terms of adding subscription value for customers.

However, that element of the subscription has also suffered from low player awareness, a factor Netflix has gone some way to addressing, as it is currently a bit “covert” in terms of appearance on mobile, putting it front and centre with this new app may put the subject to rest for good. And with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike affecting film and television production across the wider entertainment industry it may be that pushing awareness and bolstering their gaming division will allow Netflix to comfortably expand their business without causing further friction with actors and writers.

Now on ‘flix

While no games have as yet been officially announced for big screen play we can actually hazard a pretty reasonable guess, given the leaked announcement of fighting game Samurai Shodown for the platform earlier this year. Most, if not all, fighting games require “stick” and button inputs (think the iconic quarter-circle forward and punch for a hadouken in Street Fighter), and while some titles like Skull Girls have ported themselves to mobile with little complaint, the ease of access that a controller app featuring large, fixed on-screen buttons would present for a fighting game played via big screen would be noticeable.