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Netflix to let you use an iPhone as a game controller

Netflix is working on system to let you use an iPhone as a game controller for TV gaming.

The streaming giant has been making major moves in the gaming space in recent years, but so far its plays have all been geared towards mobile games. Current Netflix games can only be played on an iOS or Android device.

One easy way to bridge the gap to full on living room gaming would be to simply transfer the games wholesale to TV, and to enable you to use your mobile device as the controller. That’s precisely what the company is working on, according to a recently Bloomberg report.

Contributor Steve Moser has posted code from the Netflix iOS app that asks “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?” It seems clear that you’ll be able to play your Netflix games on a smart TV using your iPhone as a Netflix game controller in the not too distant future.

If you’re wondering how Netflix might get said games to your smart TV or streaming box of choice – most of which don’t have the processing chops of an Apple TV 4K – then the company’s recent dalliance with cloud gaming could be key.

Netflix recently claimed that “cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen and be frictionless and provide the accessibility into gaming experiences”.

Back in October, Netflix announced that it was looking to launch a cloud gaming service to extend its reach beyond mobile into the realm of “other devices where people experience Netflix.”

There was some discussion at the time over whether this meant that Netflix would launch its own Bluetooth controller or simply support existing models. Not every Netflix subscriber has a gaming device, of course, but we’d hazard a guess that every Netflix subscriber (or at least the vast majority) has a smartphone.

Of course, if the company plans to expand into more ambitious console-style gaming, as is rumoured, then a touchscreen interface isn’t going to cut it. But for translating its existing mobile game offering to the big screen, it would make a lot of sense.

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