Verizon is Testing a Cloud Streaming Service for Games Called ‘Verizon Gaming’

BY Evan Selleck

Published 11 Jan 2019

As 5G starts to become the norm, which is going to happen sooner rather than later for some customers, wireless companies are going to start finding new ways to tap into the more powerful wireless technology.

And it turns out that for Verizon, that means video games. As was first reported on Friday by The Verge, Verizon is currently testing a service called “Verizon Gaming”. This is a cloud-based streaming service, similar in style to Netflix, that will allow gamers access to over 130 games. According to the report, Verizon is testing the platform right now, with those who are selected to participate getting a free NVIDIA Shield set-top box, an Xbox One controller, and a specific login just for the test.

Once the test is complete, those who participated will also receive a $150 Amazon gift card when it’s all said and done.

The Shield device in question has Verizon Gaming already preinstalled, and later this month Verizon will be distributing the app via Google Play as well for others. Verizon is planning on ending the test by the end of January, but no specific date is provided in the report.

As for the games that are available to start, they include titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2, God of War, Battlefield 5, and many others. Some titles, like the aforementioned RDR2 and Far Cry 5, have a “vzg” badge in the top-left corner of the box art, but there’s no indication of what that means yet. And some of these titles are exclusives to the PlayStation 4, like GoW, and may simply be placeholders and not actually available on the service any time soon.

“Indeed, in response to a few complaints from testers over lag and a poor early experience, Verizon says that it’s currently focused on getting the fundamentals right before worrying about game selection. “This trial is primarily focused on performance,” the Verizon Gaming team recently wrote in an email to participants. “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 report also includes references to several different games-related job positions that were posted by Verizon back in November of last year, including “Product Manager – Video Game Producer” and several others, signaling that Verizon is very much working on this project. The company has not confirmed anything just yet, however, so this all may go up in smoke before a public launch ever happens.

Still, this is an interesting idea, if not completely original. Google is working on something similar with Project Stream, and Microsoft is working on Project xCloud. So while Verizon might not be the only one, it will hopefully be a worthwhile option for those interested in this sort of streaming access to games. Pricing and all that is a mystery as well for now.

What do you think of this idea? This only works if Verizon isn’t planning on ditching its unlimited data options, and even then not capping people with the amount of 5G data they can use. Of course, it is their own service, so they could remove those caps for people who fork over the (surely) extra monthly expense to use the service.

No mention of iOS support, either. But that will surely change at some point.

[via The Verge]