NETFLIX is plotting to break into the video games industry as it seeks new ways to draw in paying subscribers.
According to The Information, the US streaming giant is working on its own platform that could include a games bundle similar to Apple Arcade.
Netflix is reportedly planning to break into the video games industryCredit: Alamy
Apple Arcade offers paying subscribers access to a library of dozens of games that they can stream to their devices over the internet.
The move comes at a time when the gaming industry is booming.
It has benefited from a surge in demand from gamers staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Information reported on May 21 that Netflix is looking to hire an executive to oversee an expansion into video games.
Google has also dipped its toes into video game streaming with its platform, StadiaCredit: Getty
In recent weeks, the company has approached veteran industry executives about joining the company, sources told the publication.
The report was later corroborated by a source speaking to Reuters.
Netflix has experimented with interactive programming in the past with movies such as “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and “You vs. Wild”.
They enabled viewers to decide the characters’ moves in the style of a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Video game streaming – how does it work?
We explain it all…
- When you watch a movie, the images you see are already prepared
- That’s why very unsophisticated computers inside your TV, DVD player, or computer can playback film footage
- But video games render the visuals in real-time, because a game never knows what you’ll do next
- That means you need much more computing heft to produce game visuals, compared to a standard movie
- So if you want amazing 4K PC-style graphics, you’ll need to fork out for an expensive computer
- Alternatively, you could use game streaming technology
- The idea is that a company like Google, Microsoft or Sony would handle the generation of the visuals on powerful computers at its own HQ
- Then it would send what’s effectively a video of that game to your smartphone
- You tap and play, and those commands get sent back to Microsoft or Sony, which then inputs them into the game, and sends you the visuals again
- Because modern internet connections are so fast, this all happens in milliseconds
- The resulting effect is 4K PC-style graphics on a smartphone – which is only possible because it’s not the phone itself rendering the graphics
- It also means that you could potentially be playing an Xbox or PlayStation game on your console, and then leave the house and carry on playing using your iPhone
- This sort of technology could eventually kill off gaming consoles for good, because all you’d need is a TV with game-streaming tech built in, and a controller to play with
- But game streaming is still trying to get off the ground
- Sony bought a game-streaming called OnLive, but shut it down in 2015
- Google launched the relatively successful Stadia last year
- And Microsoft is currently preparing to launch its xCloud streaming service
The company has also created games based on shows “Stranger Things” and “La casa de Papel (Money Heist)”.
Netflix has discussed offering a bundle of games similar to Apple’s online subscription offering, Apple Arcade, as an option.
While the details of the company’s games strategy are still in flux, it has decided that the games will not feature advertising, the report said.
Netflix would be following in the footsteps of bitter rivals Amazon and Google.
Netflix is looking to hire an executive to oversee an expansion into video gamesCredit: Alamy
Both tech giants have dipped their toes into the video games industry in recent years, creating their own game streaming platforms.
Breaking into the industry is far from easy, though.
Google’s Stadia platform has yet to impress gamers, with users reporting gameplay lag and long loading times.
Amazon recently shut down production on a number of games developed by its own studio, including a big-budget Lord of the Rings title.
Gaming tips and tricks
Looking for tips and tricks across your favourite consoles and games? We have you covered…
In other news, The Sun’s favourite alternative to a games console is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
Check out the wildly impressive Panasonic 65HZ1000 TV, which makes most tellies look rubbish.
And Dell’s Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.
Would you buy a Netflix console? Let us know in the comments!
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