Image: sony santa monica studiovon Adam Rosenberg2019-01-12 15:08:15 UTC
We are approaching the moment when expensive hardware is no longer the deciding factor in which video games you can play and not. And it looks like Verizon wanted to be one of the first competitors to disrupt a deadlocked market.
Leaked emails and images indicate that the company has reached the alpha testing phase for a new service called Verizon Gaming. The Netflix-style interface would allow users to select and play the tile for the game they wanted, based on what we saw.
The report is from The Verge, which confirms via leaked materials that the service (for participating testers) is already running on the set-top box of Nvidia Shield. Additional documentation suggests that it is a goal to bring Verizon Gaming to Android smartphones.
The testing program includes 135 games, including some surprising titles. The screenshots show PlayStation exclusive programs like God of War, Detroit: Become Human and Knack, unpublished games like Metro: Exodus and Anthem, and even Rockstar's 2018 hit Red Dead Redemption II, released only on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This does not mean that all of these games are currently available to testers; only that the leaked images show tiles for each of them. It's quite possible that the finished version of Verizon Gaming has a stripped-down setup. An e-mail to testers even suggests this. The Alpha Test focuses on measuring the performance of the service.
"Later, as we evolve the product, our library will be the most or all the top games you know, but at this early stage, we're working on the engine and its parts," the email says ,
It is possible that Verizon's work on this service will be tied to the imminent launch of 5G, the next evolution in wireless data networks. The introduction of 5G means higher speeds everywhere – both for mobile users and for broadband users at home. Crucially, 5G also transmits data very quickly – this could be referred to as "low-latency connections" – making streaming game performance much better than current options.
Verizon is unlikely to be the first major interest signaling an interest in a streaming games service, but the company's arrival is pointing to a speedy breakthrough.
Microsoft, Google, Nvidia and Amazon are all known to test their own streaming services, but Verizon has traditionally existed outside of the games section. The company's obvious venture into unfamiliar territory now indicates a reliance on technology that was not previously known.
Since this is all technically unconfirmed, it knows everything at this time. But stay tuned! It's clear that Verizon is planning a great service for streaming games, and the fact that it's alpha testing now means we may hear sooner than you think.