Netflix is preparing to battle Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus – here's how

Netflix's gaming ambitions go way beyond a handful of mobile apps

Netflix game handle
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has been experimenting with gaming for a while – it launched a collection of smartphone games around titles such as Stranger Things last year – but it seems its ambitions go much further than making Netflix mobile games: the company's Vice President of games says "we're seriously exploring" a cloud-based rival service to the likes of Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus in order to reach people on their PCs and TVs.

That doesn't mean Netflix is about to launch a massive library of triple-A first person shooters and MMORPGs. As The Verge (opens in new tab) reports, Mike Verdu explained that "we're going to approach this the same way we did with mobile, which is start small, be humble, be thoughtful and then build out."

Netflix's gaming library is about to get much bigger

Verdu was talking to delegates at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, where he also revealed that Netflix has another 55 mobile games currently in development and is opening a new games studio in California. 

Netflix's streaming plans aren't intended to replace your Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X or PS5, though. "We're not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement," Verdu said. "It's a completely different business model. The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games wherever you are." Netflix envisages the service as a "value add" rather than a separate subscription.

Casual gaming is starting to appear in all kinds of places as everything around us gets more connected; just days ago BMW announced that it'd be bringing AirConsole games to its dashboards from 2023. The global market for gaming is expected (opens in new tab) to reach a whopping $326 billion by 2026, so you can see why so many big firms are taking an interest.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).