Netflix has begun public testing of its cloud-streamed games in Canada and the UK.

Netflix 2.jpg
– IAM-Photography via Getty

For the time being, the cloud gaming service is only available for a small number of subscribers and is in a "limited beta test" stage, according to Netflix's VP of games, Mike Verdu.

The company has been offering mobile gaming since November 2021, but this move sees the company's games becoming available on PCs and TVs, bringing Netflix into a new market.

Only two games are currently available in the beta test: Oxenfree, made by Night School Studio which is owned by Netflix, and Molehew's Mining Adventure.

The games can be played on the TV using your smartphone as a console, and are currently available to 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. More devices will be added as the test progresses.

The company has 40 more games scheduled to come out this year, 70 in development with partners, and 16 being worked on in-house.

Several major companies have cloud gaming offerings, including the Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce NOW, Amazon Luna, and PlayStation Plus Premium. However, while the concept is extremely popular, the experience can be highly variable due to Internet speeds, connection types, and the end-user device.

Gaming is very compute intense and the experience is highly dependent on latency - something which is directly impacted by the distance between the games server and the end user.

Netflix's streaming service has been completely cloud-based since 2016, after a seven-year migration journey, using Amazon Web Services (AWS) despite Amazon itself being a direct competitor to Netflix through its Amazon Prime offering. Netflix also offers an Open Connect Appliance - its version of a CDN - to ISPs to localize traffic.

In 2020, Netflix predicted it would spend $1 billion on AWS through the year 2023. How the addition of a cloud gaming service will impact this is unclear, nor is how adding a new basis of competition with its cloud provider will affect the companies' relationship.

DCD has contacted Netflix for more information.