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Netflix Games adds controller app ahead of TV support

A controller app and future TV support may help Netflix Games feel more traditionally game-like.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 9, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for Netflix Games.

Netflix Games now has its own version of controller support with an app that turns iPhones into a game controller. And it appears to be heralding an Netflix Games app for TVs in the near future. 

Originally spotted by TechCrunch, the Netflix Game Controller app has users pair their Apple phone with the TV, after which it can be used to play the streamer's various mobile games. The controller layout mirrors the XYAB scheme used by Nintendo and Xbox, albeit resized for a mobile screen.

At time of writing, it appears to be available solely on the iOS App Store. An Android version has not been revealed, and this app's existence was reportedly released onto the App Store without any prior knowledge of its existence.

For all the titles that Netflix Games presently has, all of them can only be played on mobile devices. Netflix has yet to provide full TV support for any of them, but a message for the the controller app says that a TV version of Netflix Games is "in beta. Some devices may not be supported at this time."

Last year, Netflix's games VP Mike Verdu made it clear the company was going to branch out beyond mobile devices. However at the time, those ambitions only seemed to be indicating a focus on the cloud game market, with eyes on the PC game space revealed a month later.

Having TV support for Netflix Games would go a long way towards making the service more appealing and help it gain an audience higher than the previously reported one percent. For all the mobile games that are out there and quite popular, there is something to be said for playing a game on one's TV with a controller.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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