Netflix was the major video streaming platform that stepped into the gaming segment two years ago and it seems like YouTube is following suit. YouTube has announced the public beta test of a new gaming program on its platform, Playables, allowing you to play online games on YouTube.
YouTube Playables: What is it?
Playables was first spotted being tested back in June of this year. It was being described as “a product for playing online games.” At the time, it was only being tested by employees. However, the limited public beta test is now available to a select group of people. If you are in that group, you’ll be able to see a Playables section in your home feed in the YouTube app.
The Google support page, where the public test was announced, states that Playables are games that can be played directly on YouTube on both desktop and mobile devices. Apart from that, you can also view and control your Playables history and saved game progress in YouTube’s history. However, we do not know which games are available to play through Playables on YouTube at this moment.
In the report that surfaced in June, the only game being tested was “Stack Bounce,” a title also available to play via Google’s GameSnacks service. As of now, we do not see the Playables section on any of our smartphones.
YouTube Playables: Was it introduced because of Netflix?
The gaming industry has been witnessing growth in terms of opportunities for the past few years, and everyone seems to be joining in so they don’t lose out on the opportunity. Netflix stepped foot into the gaming segment in 2021 when it introduced some of the already-released titles via its platform.
Then, it took gaming to the next level with cloud gaming test, which it began earlier last month. This test allowed users to play games on every device where Netflix is available. Not only that, but it also introduced an App on iOS that allowed players to use their phones as controllers.
Netflix seems to be going all in on gaming and while YouTube doesn’t directly compete with the platform in terms of the content offered, they do fall in the same category: video streaming. While Netflix is relatively new to the segment, YouTube already has sections in the app dedicated to gaming so users can search for gaming streams.
The platform’s community-driven approach could help it further strengthen its position when it comes to games. We still don’t know where YouTube wants to take playable in the future, considering Google just shut down its cloud gaming platform, Stadia, earlier this year. But we think that Netflix has impacted YouTube’s move to introduce online games on its own platform.
YouTube can leverage its community’s fan base and its expertise in the gaming field to take this a step ahead of Netflix. Playables seem to be the first step in the direction of making gaming the next big thing on YouTube. In fact, YouTube spokesperson Alex McQuiston told a publication earlier this year that “Gaming has long been a focus at YouTube”.