Netflix Steps Up Videogame Challenge to Microsoft. The Clou…

Netflix’s videogame portfolio has been focused on mobile games so far. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Videogames might not immediately spring to mind when you think of
but the streaming company is aiming to change that.

Netflix is testing a videogame streaming service as it looks to mount a bigger challenge to
and other giants in the space. 

(ticker: NFLX) said it is testing its videogame service on TVs and personal computers. It’s a first step toward expanding beyond its current mobile-games portfolio. 

It’s a small-scale effort at the moment, with just two games to be made available on the service for some customers in the U.K. and Canada. However, Netflix said Monday the effort would help test its technology, including the prospects for a smartphone being used as a controller for its games. 

Putting its videogames on TVs and PCs would make Netflix a more direct rival to services such as
(MSFT) Xbox cloud-gaming service. Until now, Netflix has been a niche player in videogames with some limited successes based on its own properties. 

Others have tried and failed to make inroads into the videogaming sector in similar fashion, such as
(GOOGL) Google which shut down its Stadia game-streaming service in January after it failed to gain traction with gamers. However, Netflix seems confident that cloud technology, allowing for streaming games directly onto devices so players don’t need to pay for a high-end PC or console, remains a viable path in the sector.

Netflix shares were down 0.6% in premarket trading on Tuesday at $452.32. The stock is up 45% this year so far.

Write to Adam Clark at adam.clark@barrons.com

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