LG’s New Gaming Platform Streamlines Cloud Gaming Experience via Smart TVs
The line between console gaming and home media continues to blur as LG has announced new ways to play on its smart TV devices. Not only is the electronics giant incorporating a new menu to facilitate video game streaming, but it will also be introducing partnerships with two cloud-based companies to bring over 600 titles to its customers.
LG’s new menu, titled “The Gaming Shelf,” will make it even easier for media-hungry gamers to transition from streaming shows to virtual gaming. All consumers will need to access the new content is a compatible controller, transforming smart TVs into game consoles with the press of a button.
The latest services to make it to customers’ Gaming Shelf are Blacknut and Utomik, cloud-based gaming subscription services that promise to add a plethora of games to the platform. September sees the release of Blacknut, which focuses on a family-friendly catalog with some more eclectic retro games including “Metal Slug,” alongside more plot-driven options such as “Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story.” The streamer also includes parental controls and allows customers up to five different profiles and cloud-based saves for cross-platform play (the ability to switch from one device to another without losing progress).
In November, LG will put Utomik onto the Gaming Shelf as well. While already included in Samsung’s bevy of cloud-gaming services, Utomok will bring its library of streaming content to LG Smart TVs which should add another 100+ titles to the platform. Notable Triple-A options include games from the Metro series as well as a bevy of indie hits popularized on the digital gaming distribution service Steam.
The Gaming Shelf will make its debut on LG Smart TV home screens running webOS 6.0 and webOS 2022.
Samsung already has a leg up on LG when it comes to remote play and cloud gaming. Its smart TVs have been running the company's own Gaming Hub since June, and alongside Utomok it features GeForce Now, Google Stadia, the latest Microsoft Xbox TV app, and Amazon's Luna as well.
Netflix has been taking a turn into gaming by releasing titles based on its own IPs as well as deals to bring more novel titles to the table. While not a terribly successful idea with just an average of 1% of its customers actually playing them, it is still a big win for gamers looking to counter the increasing difficulty of getting their hands on actual gaming hardware.
As Sony increases the cost of its latest console worldwide, it’s no surprise that many gamers are looking for alternative options to get their fix. Companies such as LG and Samsung are doing their best to increase the availability of high-quality games through streaming, transforming their Smart TVs into competitors against big-budget, industry-leading devices.
It’s likely that dedicated consumers looking for the pinnacle of video game graphics and entertainment won’t be satisfied by a purely cloud-based marketplace. However, more casual customers may find the Gaming Shelf a welcome addition to their home by offering ways to play some distracting titles while seamlessly transitioning between gaming and watching their favorite streaming content.