Verizon seems to be in the middle of testing a new cloud-based service which lets users stream games on Android devices. The service is currently being referred to as Verizon Gaming,
At present, the service is being tested with the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, although it is understood the end-goal is to make the service available on multiple Android devices, including smartphones,.
The information on this comes from a new report which has in turn seen emails from Verizon confirming the service, and also screenshots that confirm how the service currently looks and operates.
According to the information, Verizon has sought the help of a limited number of testers for the program and in return for taking part each tester has been provided with an NVIDIA SHIELD device that's pre-loaded with the new game-focused app. The NVIDIA SHIELD version is being tested paired with the Xbox One controller.
The service is said to be in a very early stage of development with no particular details on when it will become widely available although the current version of the test is expected to come to a close at the end of January. Following which, the testing will move to the next stage which includes making the Android version of the app available through the Google Play Store. This is not expected to be a wide release of the app – it will still be limited to testers.
While screenshots have been provided it remains to be seen how useful they are in relation to the end product as they show a variety of top-tier titles, including console-based games such as Red Dead Redemption and the new God of War. The latter of which is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and so it seems unlikely this will be available on Android devices – leading to the suggestion this, and likely others are simply placeholders.
There's said to be 135 games currently available through the service.
Verizon has been noted explaining the interface is currently in an unfinished state with the current bout of testing more focused on the performance-related aspects of the service.
Verizon's testing on the NVIDIA SHIELD raises some interesting questions as the SHIELD already provides users with a game-streaming service, GeForce NOW. This is an official NVIDIA service and so it remains to be seen if the testing, of what is in effect a rival service, is going ahead with the backing of NVIDIA or whether the device is simply being used without the help of the SHIELD-maker.
The NVIDIA SHIELD is an extremely powerful Android TV device and therefore it is one of the better TV-optimized devices to test a service like this.
The understanding Verizon is working on a new game-streaming service follows on from the news late last week that Amazon is also working on a similar solution. Besides the point Amazon is looking to utilize its own Web Services solution for the backend, no further details were provided on Amazon's gaming answer. This is in addition to the many other streaming services already available, including NVIDIA's own, as well as other game streaming-based features and services, such as Google's Project Stream.
Verizon's service seems to add to the growing narrative that streaming is where many of the big companies are now placing their focus going forward and especially as a means to further capitalize on the introduction of 5G. This also seems to be the case with Verizon Gaming, as there's the suggestion this game streaming service is designed to launch alongside, or as part of Verizon's 5G plans.
Verizon has been looking to launch a robust home and mobile version of 5G which includes additional elements such as live and on-demand TV. Verizon gaming might form part of the overall package.