What a Netflix-style streaming service might mean for mobile gaming

By , on January 29, 2019
Last modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The big news in the mobile gaming world this week surrounds rumours that Apple might be interested in creating a Netflix-for-gaming style subscription service on the App Store. It's certainly an interesting idea, and if there's any store that's position to deliver on such a scheme, it feels like it could be the App Store.

There have been plenty of attempts to make streaming games more mainstream - most of the major consoles have some form of streaming option, and then there was OnLive, and the other services that have tried to capitalise on the desire for speedily delivered digital entertainment.

But mobile gaming feels like it's already dealt with a lot of the problems that are inherent in game streaming services. Smaller games, with smaller resource requirements, mean that delivering the action we all crave without the lag we all fear could actually be a reality using Apple's tech.

There's more to the idea though. Imagine you've got an Apple TV, and can use the streaming service to play high quality games on it. Couple the iPhone or iPad you've got up as a controller, and we're getting close to the one-device solution that so many of us think is the way that technology should be heading.

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Another thing that a service like this is going to need is the backing of gaming companies. That's a two-sided coin though. On the one hand, who wouldn't want to be on a service created by the biggest name in technology? But on the flip side, Apple's cut of the proceeds could leave the streaming library rather unimpressive-looking.

Then of course there's the question of how free to play games, which make up the majority of the titles on the App Store, are actually going to work here. It's one thing downloading a game for nothing to play, but when you're paying a subscription as well, there needs to be some sort of incentive otherwise it won't work.

Of course, all of this can be filed in the might-happen drawer of your desk, and we're going to remain sceptical until we've found out more about the potentially game-changing service. Like, y'know, whether it exists or not.