In 2007, before the days of “apps” and “streaming” was even heard of, I received a special red envelope from Netflix in my mailbox that was going to change everyone’s watching habits forever. These envelopes were reserved for a select few DVD based Netflix subscribers which was the only option initially there was at the time.
The label on the envelope read “Instant Streaming Disc” for PS3.
When Netflix made the announcement to their subscribers that they would soon be able to watch hundreds of movies from their PlayStation 3 console on to their TV sets, it seemed almost incompressible. After I installed the disc, I found myself panning through the menu for what seemed like to be an endless supply of movies that I had the option to watch. After carefully choosing one to my liking, I was blown away at how good the actual video quality was.
From that point on, I realized Netflix’s streaming was going to be the official game changer for not just the DVD rental industry, but the entire movie industry as a whole. It changed the way we watched movies at home; by being able to watch almost any movie at any time.
Fifteen years since that monumental moment, it seems that Netflix may just utilize the magic of the Sony PlayStation yet again, but this time for a different kind of purpose. One that the Sony PlayStation utilizes quite well – games.
In addition to their original films, animation and unscripted TV, Netflix will be offering another new content: gaming.
The great news, at least in the short term, is that there will be no additional cost for the new gaming content for the subscribers, though once everyone gets hooked into it, just like the way video streaming did when it first came out, I imagine they might repeat themselves and charge a bit extra for it later down the line once it is widely embraced by it’s audience.
Recently announced on a letter to shareholders this month, Netflix said that will initially focus gaming on mobile devices. So, I assume Netflix will develop some new Android and iOS apps to install onto smart-phones, tablets, and laptops, in order for subscribers to get a taste of what’s to come for gamers. Look for this to be done by the end of the year.
Though, it really wasn’t their intention to get into the gaming business even just a few years ago, Netflix has completely changed their tone. Perhaps it could have been due to the fact that many studios were pulling their big blockbuster movies out of Netflix so they could put them in their own streaming channels, like Disney Plus and HBO Max.
I am sure they had lost a chunk of their 18 to 34 year old audience, since all the Marvel and Star Wars movies had disappeared from the Netflix catalogue. It will be any of them will return just for the games.
Netflix’s phenomenal Stranger Things, became an overnight sensation since it debuted in 2016. According to Symphony Technology Group, within the first 35 days of release, Stranger Things averaged ratings around 14.07 million adults between the ages 18–49 in the United States. Within its first month, the third season was watched by 64 million households, setting a new record for the most-watched original Netflix series.
The series is the most followed TV show on social media app “TV Time’s” history, with over 5 million followers.
Stranger Things is Netflix’s most prized franchise after having aired four seasons. All types of merchandise could be found at just about any major retail outlet. Books, comics, novels, clothing, toys, games, and even video games. You name it.
INTERACTIVE FILMS AND MOBILE GAMING
In 2017, Netflix started to produce their series of “interactive” films, such as “Black Mirror Bandersnatch”. Their “choose your own adventure” movie has up to ten to twelve different endings based on the viewer’s choices presented at a certain “choice point”. Though there are very few decision-making choices compared to an actual video game, it still made it somewhat, in a way, a “game”, since it is interactive.
The following year, Netflix partnered with Telltale Games and introduced their first interactive game, Minecraft: Story Mode, which through basic controls on a television remote, was comparable to the existing catalogue of narrative stories rom Netflix.
Telltale Games also had the exclusive rights to produce a video game adaptation of Stranger Things, but unfortunately, the company collapsed before production even started.
In spite of this, Netflix partnered with BonusXP and developed the first mobile game for Stranger Things on the Android and iOS operating systems, which styled the 80’s look of The Legend of Zelda, the iconic 16-bit Nintendo game that was also about exploration and discovery. The free touchscreen game was downloaded over 3 million times it’s first week in 2017.
The following year, in 2018, when Season Two of Stranger Things came out, the game was updated and also became compatible with the Amazon Fire tablet with an option of using a controller through its port, which was a step in the right direction for serious gamers.
When BonusXP released Stranger Things3: The Game in 2019, the tie-in for the third season, it was the first time that Stranger Things supported multiple platforms a such as personal computers, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
I can imagine an updated Stranger Things 5 release, just in time for Christmas that could launch their introduction of gaming to their subscribers.
Even though they are still the major leader of all “over-the-top” streaming services with 204 million subscribers (and still growing), Netflix’s market share has been decreasing each quarter to rivals such as Disney Plus, HBO Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. Their competition is starting to take a bigger chunk of the revenue pie.
In 2020, Netflix had a market share of 36.2% of the U.S. television industry’s revenue, down from 44.4% in 2019. By 2022, its share is expected to be down to 28.4%, and almost even with Disney’s slice of the U.S. streaming market.
Perhaps, it just seems natural for Netflix at this stage as a delivery content provider to transition into gaming after experimenting with interactive films.
Unlike Apple Arcade and Google Stadia whom haven’t exactly bowled the public over with their gaming platforms, Netflix has a much better chance to be successful with their existing 204 million subscriber base global platform, along with the endless quantity of intellectual property coming from Hollywood movies. Mobile gaming has the possibility to be more creative than ever.
They also have a great strategic partnership with Sony. I believe game developers from all walks of life would want to work for Netflix, which is one of the most trusted and reputable companies in America to work for, as well. It was ranked #115 in Forbes 500 this year.
For better or worse, there will be some very exciting times as well as more stranger days ahead for the streaming giant. We’ll see if gaming will help fuel the future growth for Netflix. It will be a wait and see.
originally published on https://mlsentertainment.wordpress.com/2021/07/31/the-evolution-and-future-of-netflix-gaming-stranger-things-to-come/
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, a new wave of amazing generation of TV’s have been washed ashore in Las Vegas at the CES 2020 (Consumer Electronics Show) from the biggest global TV manufacturers. Despite the fact that the majority of consumers still don’t own a 4K UHD-TV set, TV manufacturers rolled out their 8K TV’s at CES 2020. LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony, and even TLC had their 8K sets featured prominently on display at their booths and press conferences.
Improvements in TV display technology over the past several years have been rapidly accelerating as fast as never before. It was only five years ago when 4K UHD-TV’s first became available to consumers. After being accustomed to watching standard HDTV’s over the years and that fact that there was hardly any 4K content to play or stream, the mass majority of the public was reluctant to adopt to it initially.
Now more than a third of all households who own a HDTV have a 4K HDTV with the number expected to jump to 50% this year. Initially thought of as a niche market, 4K UHD-TV’s have finally been embraced by the mainstream and is expected soon to be the new future-proof TV standard.
Walking through the floors at CES, it doesn’t take much of a genius to realize that the next generation of TV’s that only used to be only envisioned in futuristic science fiction movies are just stunning, gorgeous, and jaw-dropping technical marvels to gaze at.
What’s truly amazing is that the manufacturers all use different display technology ranging from MicroLED, Mini-LED, QLED, and OLED. With the latest breakthroughs in display technology demonstrated at CES 2020, the TV’s of the future were what dreams are made of that were made into reality.
However, dreams like this don’t come cheap, but if you have at least a spare $60,000 to a few hundred thousand dollars to spend, here is your dream come true.
LG ELECTRONICS – ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’ ROLLIN
Two years ago at CES, LG Electronics, the pioneer of OLED-TV introduced a prototype of the OLED W, (The “W” stands for “Wallpaper”). It was truly an amazing and ground breaking revolutionary technology that was able to keep the pure picture quality of OLED technology with the darkest blacks and brightest whites within its micro thin bezel frame just 2.57mm thick.
LG Electronics expanded their OLED R line, which was briefly introduced last year at CES 2019. (The “R” stands for “Rollable”). Think of these as a portable “UHD-TV in a box” in which the screen rolls up from a long rectangular cabinet that also serves as it’s own soundbar. When in use, the display rolls up through motorization and rolls back down when not in use. It’s like an all-in one projector and screen all rolled into one.
This year, they have created yet another revolutionary product which may even disrupt the need for movie projectors and movie screens in the future, just like how digital cameras eliminated the need for film cameras.
The latest version of the new LG OLED R line prototypes were shown, which is the exact reversal of the first model. Rather than being put on a flat surface, like a table, the cabinet/soundbar could be mounted upside down from the top of the ceiling like a mounted movie screen. If you want to watch, with a press of a button, the screen will roll down from the ceiling and roll back up when you are done. Even with this compact feature, you still get the best OLED quality with absolutely no loss in picture quality.
Luckily for consumers, they should be available this year. However, the price isn’t going to be cheap. Rumors are that the TV will be starting at $60,000.00.
THE 292″ WALL TV BY SAMSUNG
For those who want to buy a TV and make it a permanent fixture in their living space, you can buy “The Wall” TV by Samsung. Available in sizes from 75 inches up to 292 inches, it’s the biggest TV display you can buy today, and the only set on the market to offer. There are two versions of the wall; one at 146″ and the other at 292″.
Samsung’s microLED technology, which uses super-fine LEDs instead of OLED or traditional LED delivers many of the benefits you’ll find in OLED, including perfect blacks and eye-popping colors, but the set also boasts 1,600 nits of brightness, which is brighter than today’s OLED sets. More importantly, unlike OLED, MicroLED promises zero burn-in issues.
ALL N ALL IT’S JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL...
The 146-inch size might seem random, but it’s actually just tall enough to be able to cover most home walls from the floor to the ceiling. Because The Wall is made up of borderless tiles, the modular design allows additional tiles to be added, making this even-bigger version of The Wall possible. Of course, if you live in a castle, you can double or triple that measurement, or just make it custom made. Size does not matter…if you have a deep wallet.
Just like Lego blocks can be built on each other, Samsung has the capability of building it’s displays on top of each other without any bezels showing. No borders or boundaries; just pure continuous gorgeous displays. Looking up close, I did not see any irregularities and the image looked seamless. In fact, it can blend into your living space, such as a white wall display that looks like a white wall when not in use.
When not in use, even though it wasn’t designed to turn off, “The Wall”, can blend in as part of your living space. You can make it part of the wall or you can change it into artwork or even a masterpiece painting by a world renowned painter, such as Renoir. The main point is that it doesn’t look like one massive giant TV that is showing up as an eyesore that domesticated wives are accustomed to with home theater type husbands. The wife will be much happier for it.
However, Samsung hasn’t put a price tag on this, but considering the 98″ Class Q900 QLED Smart 8K UHD TV is tagged at $59,999.99, you will probably need to take out a second mortage on your home for the 292″ model, if you have to own one.
Always thought of as the pioneering innovator of TV’s, Sony Electronics had surprised everyone at this years CES press conference by literally changing gears and announcing they are going into the electric car business by introducing their Vision S electric car prototype.
Surprisingly there was hardly any news concerning the TV side of Sony’s business except that they would be selling smaller sized OLED TV’s as little as 48″, which there is a definite need for in the marketplace. This is good news for consumers as OLED prices have come down to earth in price, thanks to the mass adoption demand for them, as well as the growing competition with LG and other brands from China who have announced they are selling in the US in the new year. Vizio plans to come out with their first OLED TV, as well as an OLED line from Phillips, Konka and Skyworth.
In the meantime at their booth, Sony displayed their latest flagship X1 Master Series, featuring the 8K Sony 98″ X1 which has already been selling at retailers listing for a mere $70,000.00. They also had the smaller 85″ line on display which retails at a more reasonable $13,000.00.
Obviously, very few of us can afford this new technology right now, but the real point here is that we have reached this point in technology and that it’s here with us to stay.
One day when they figure out how to mass produce these MicroLED TV’s, we all may be able to afford a Wall-TV in our home without having to take out a second mortgage.