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Netflix Launches Test of Games on TVs, PCs and Macs

Netflix, two years after initially launching a selection of games on mobile devices, is kicking the tires on letting customers play titles on computers and internet-connected TVs.

The company announced that is rolling out a limited beta test to a “small number” of members in Canada and the U.K. on select TVs starting Monday (Aug. 14), and on PCs and Macs through netflix.com on supported browsers in the next few weeks. To play games on TV, Netflix is using customers’ mobile phones — a “controller that we already have in our hands most of the day,” Netflix VP of games Mike Verdu wrote in a blog post announcing the test. On PCs and Macs, members can play games on web browsers using a keyboard and mouse.

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Two games will be part of Netflix’s initial cloud-gaming test: “Oxenfree” from Night School Studio, an indie game studio Netflix acquired in September 2021, and Molehew’s “Mining Adventure” gem-mining arcade game.

Last fall, Verdu had announced that the company was “seriously exploring” cloud gaming to be able to extend its catalog of games to be playable on TVs and computers.

The “limited beta is meant to test our game streaming technology and controller, and to improve the member experience over time,” Verdu wrote in Monday’s blog post.

Netflix’s games on TV will run on select devices from initial partners including Amazon Fire TV streaming media players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung Smart TVs and Walmart Onn TV. Additional devices will be added “on an ongoing basis,” Verdu said.

“By making games available on more devices, we hope to make games even easier to play for our members around the world,” Verdu wrote. “While we’re still very early in our games journey, we’re excited to bring joy to members with games. We look forward to hearing feedback from our beta testers and sharing more as we continue on the road ahead.”

Netflix currently has 70 games in its mobile lineup and has said it’s aiming to offer about 95 by the end of 2023. Recently introduced titles include ZeptoLab’s “Cut the Rope Daily,” Ripstone’s “The Queen’s Gambit Chess” and Nanobit’s “Too Hot to Handle 2” — the latter two of which are based on Netflix original TV shows.

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