US telecoms company Verizon is reportedly getting into cloud gaming.
According to The Verge, Verizon Gaming is currently in the process of alpha testing and is up and running on Nvidia Shield. The company has been providing Shield devices, and the Xbox One controllers needed to play, to testers. Verizon Gaming will also reportedly come to Android smartphones in the future.
Testers have been provided kit, with the promise of a $150 Amazon gift card upon completion, to test over 135 games currently available on the service. Leaked screenshots (below) suggest an impressive range of titles including Fortnite, God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Destiny 2.
It’s likely many of these titles are placeholder, of course, as a number listed are currently subject to significant platform restrictions. Verizon is currently still getting basic functionality under control as-is, after reports of poor early user experience from testers.
“This trial is primarily focused on performance,” said the Verizon Gaming team, in an email sent to alpha 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 Verge reports that one tester found software belonging to Utomik within Verizon Gaming - suggesting the phone company may be building off the Dutch-American streaming firm’s technology.
Verizon has never before dived into games - and besides a job listing for a “cloud gaming product manager” back in November, the company has not publicly confirmed Verizon Gaming’s existence.
But the firm may be well positioned to get a foot in the cloud-gaming door. That position suggests 5G connectivity will be key to Verizon Gaming’s operation, and the company is keen on exploring the potential of 5G on gaming with multiple product manager positions opening in the field.
But for now, Verizon Gaming must wait for that technology to roll out - and prove it can provide a stable experience on WiFi first.