Verizon Gaming is currently up and running on the Nvidia Shield set-top box and will eventually make its way to Android smartphones, The Verge said. Games on the service can be played with a paired Xbox One controller.
Although Verizon has not advertised, or even acknowledged, the service’s existence, it’s quietly recruiting people to test it and the 135 games it offers. Participants are reportedly given a free Nvidia Shield, Xbox One controller, and login for the test and are rewarded with a $150 Amazon gift card afterwards. Right now, the trial is primarily focused on performance, Verizon recently wrote to participants in an email obtained by The Verge.
“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,” it said.
The Verge also managed to get screenshots of the Verizon Gaming app and some of the titles it allegedly offers, including “Fortnite,” “Red Dead Redemption 2,” “God of War,” Battlefield V,” and “Destiny 2.” That’s an impressive slate of games, although it might not be entirely accurate. “God of War” is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and Sony hasn’t given any indication it plans to port it to other platforms.
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While the Verizon Gaming app already comes pre-installed on Nvidia Shield, Android testers will get to download it on Google Play later this month, The Verge said. This initial round of testing is scheduled to wrap up at the end of January.
Variety contacted Verizon to confirm whether or not this report is accurate. “We frequently conduct internal and external proof-of-concept trials to explore new ways to enrich the customer experience and expand our portfolio of products and services,” a spokesperson said via email. They didn’t provide further details.
If Verizon is working on a cloud gaming service, it’s entering an increasingly crowded field. Microsoft unveiled its own service called Project xCloud in October. It reportedly runs on devices paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller via Bluetooth and it’s playable using touch input. Google is currently partnering with game publisher Ubisoft to test Project Stream, while Amazon is reportedly looking for publishing partners for its own cloud gaming service.