NETFLIX is planning to offer video games alongside TV shows and movies.
It’s a major change for the streaming app – and will put Netflix in competition with the PS5 and Xbox.
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As part of the push, Netflix has hired a former EA and Facebook exec.
Mike Verdu is joining Netflix as Vice President of Game Design.
According to Bloomberg, video games will begin appearing on Netflix “within the next year”.
They’ll be listed as part of a new genre, living alongside existing offerings like documentaries.
Importantly, Bloomberg cites an insider as saying Netflix won’t charge extra for the video games.
It’s unclear exactly how the games will be delivered.
Most likely, games would be offered over the internet – streamed just like a TV show.
This is how existing online gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia already work.
Rather than rely on expensive computer hardware in the home, cloud gaming lets you “borrow” the power from huge data centres.
It means you could play 4K games with stunning visuals on a laptop or TV – without the need for a games console.
The big downside is that you need a very good internet connection for game streaming.
But broadband and mobile connections are constantly improving, and so it’s much easier to stream games than ever before.
There’s no word on what sort of games Netflix will be offering either.
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.
But this latest push will tread more firmly in video game territory.
However, we don’t know whether Netflix will be making its own games, or offering existing games through a licensing deal.
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