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Netflix launches controller for TV gaming, beta test running in UK and Canada

Netflix is testing its game offering on TV and PCs.
Netflix Games TV Computer PC Mac

As spotted by TechCrunch, Netflix has surprise-released a dedicated Netflix Game Controller app seemingly designed to function as a gamepad connected to a nearby television screen. While currently unconfirmed, the existence of the app suggests Netflix subscribers will soon be able to play the entire library of Netflix Games on their TV sets.

Update 15 August 2023: Netflix has confirmed that a limited beta test for TVs, as well as PC and Macs through supported web browsers, is now operational in a ‘limited beta’ running in Canada and the UK.

As expected, the service utilises the mobile controller app to act as an input device for games running through Netflix on another screen, though computer users can use keyboards and mouse as well.

Two games are available: Adventure game Oxenfree and arcade game Molehew’s Mining Adventure.

The original story continues below.

So far, Netflix has amassed a strong array of video games for subscribers to the platform, including a number of indie hits like Kentucky Route Zero, Oxenfree 2, Into the Breach, Poinpy, Moonlighter, and Immortality. Currently, they can only be played on select mobile and iOS handheld devices – but that may change shortly.

The newly-revealed Netflix Game Controller does not currently have any confirmed functionality, but TechCrunch suggests it will allow remote pairing with a TV to play games through Netflix.

While Netflix itself declined to comment on the upcoming app, its description suggests features are ‘coming soon’. The app appears to have gone live prematurely, but it likely won’t be long before more details are revealed.

Read: Netflix to release 40+ games in 2023, on a monthly basis

Earlier in 2023, Netflix revealed big plans for its games library, with around 40 releases planned for 2023, and plenty more in future. Previously, it had also hinted at plans for cloud gaming, and a slow rollout of new features and games for subscribers.

‘We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen,’ Leanne Loombo, Netflix VP of External Games said in May 2023. ‘Our overall vision is that our members can play games on any Netflix device they have.’

As TechCrunch points out, this statement would certainly align with a seeming push for new cloud gaming options.

For now, Netflix remains tight-lipped about the Netflix Game Controller app – but given it’s now in the wild, we’re likely to hear an update on plans shortly. Stay tuned to hear more about these ambitions for cloud gaming, and when the Netflix controller app will officially go live.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.