Leaked screenshots reveal Verizon is already testing a video game streaming service to compete with Microsoft, Google, and Amazon
- Verizon is the latest company to debut a cloud gaming service; Verizon Gaming will let users stream video games directly to their smartphone and other devices.
- The Verge reports that the Verizon Gaming app is currently being tested on the Nvidia Shield, a home theater streaming device, and will be headed to Android devices next.
- Other companies pursuing cloud gaming services include Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Sony, and Electronic Arts.
Verizon is planning a new streaming service for video games called Verizon Gaming, according to a recent report from The Verge. Screenshots of an early test version of the Verizon Gaming app have surfaced and Verizon has made more than 135 games available for streaming.
Test participants receive an Nvidia Shield, an Xbox One controller, and a Verizon Gaming account, and will be awarded a $150 Amazon gift card once the test is complete. The Verizon Gaming app comes pre-installed on the Nvidia Shield, which is an Android-based device with access to the Google Play Store.
Cloud gaming services like Verizon Gaming use remote servers to stream top-quality video games directly to the player. In the simplest terms, the server runs the game and sends the player a video feed from the cloud, while the player's controller inputs are sent back to the server. This allows the user to play the game remotely on their choice of computer or mobile device.
With the server doing the heavy lifting, players no longer need expensive video game consoles to run the latest games. This has sparked the interest of major tech companies looking to get involved in the video game industry without investing in expensive consoles and other hardware.
Cloud-based services still require a strong, stable internet connection to stream games properly, and Verizon's 5G mobile data infrastructure would be ideal for delivering games at high speed. Amazon and Microsoft, two of the world's largest server providers, will also be testing their own cloud gaming services this year.
Early screenshots from Verizon Gaming obtained by The Verge show a number of popular titles like "Grand Theft Auto V," "Fortnite," and "Destiny 2," but also include PlayStation 4 exclusives like "God of War 2" and "Knack." However, Verizon informed participants that some of the titles might just be placeholders. Verizon Gaming is also in such an early stage that players cannot save their progress; the game starts fresh each time they boot the app.
"This trial is primarily focused on performance," the Verizon Gaming team told test participants in an email, according to The Verge. "At a later date, when we advance the product, our library will consist of most or all of the top games you are familiar with - but at this early stage we're working on the engine and its parts."
The Verge found multiple job listings connected to Verizon's cloud gaming, mobile gaming, and video game initiatives, suggesting that the project is still expanding. The current test is due to run through the end of January.
Expect more beta testing for cloud gaming services to pop up during 2019; Google's ProjectStream beta test ends tomorrow January 15th, while Microsoft promised a beta test for their Project xCloud service later this year.
You can check out leaked screenshots of Verizon Gaming over at The Verge.