Amazon Announces Luna; A New Cloud Gaming Service
As early as last year it has been rumored that Amazon has been working on its own cloud gaming service similar to Google Stadia which released late last year to little success at this point. The service is known as Luna which has the potential to give players a 4K 60FPS experience across a myriad of devices. Amazon has been trying to get its foot into the gaming space for a while with developing games like Crucible a free-to-play third-person shooter, but have found little success as the game was brought back to closed beta less than two months after its official release.
According to The Verge, Luna will work as a monthly subscription service where the platform will have over 100 titles available to play including Resident Evil VII, Control, and A Plague Tale: Innocence. Ubisoft will have their own dedicated channel where owners will be able to play upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising on launch day. Amazon also says that there will be more channels similar to Ubisoft’s that focus on a specific genre, developer, or publisher.
With Amazon owning Twitch, the service will naturally have an integration feature with the streaming platform where those who are watching a game on Twitch that is available on Luna, they will be able to instantly jump into that game to play it for themselves. Along with the service will be a Luna controller that is “Alexa-enabled” which Amazon explains more on how its features will work into the service.
Luna Controller is Alexa-enabled and connects directly to the cloud to effortlessly control your game, featuring a multiple-antenna design that prioritizes un-interrupted Wi-Fi for lower latency gaming. In fact, our testing showed a reduction in roundtrip latency when playing Luna Controller with Cloud Direct vs. Luna Controller via Bluetooth, with reductions of between 17 to 30 milliseconds among PC, Fire TV, and Mac. Because the Luna Controller connects directly to cloud servers, players can easily switch between screens — such as Fire TV to mobile phone — without additional pairing or configuration changes.
There is currently no launch for Luna, but it will be going into early access before a proper launch down the line. During early access, the service will cost $5.99 a month and for those interested, you can request entry to early access over on Amazon. The Luna controller will cost $49.99 which is cheaper than most controllers, to say the least. There is currently no information regarding what the subscription price will be once Luna eventually leaves early access.
After the release of Google Stadia, Luna does look more promising with being a subscription-based service instead of having to buy every game you want to play separately as Stadia does. In simple terms, it’s Amazon’s attempt at a cloud-only version of Xbox Game Pass, but in my opinion, it won’t be able to compete. Game Pass has more games and better ones at that along with exclusive titles that they currently have and will have in the coming years. Granted, being able to play Ubisoft’s catalog at launch is a pretty big get. It will be interesting to see how the platform evolves over time.
Once launched, Luna will be available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, and iOS with Android coming at a later time.