Unsurprisingly, Amazon has announced a Cloud Gaming service that will be coming to US customers soon. The new service will be called Luna, and it will be available for PC, Mac, iOS, and FireTV devices at launch.
The rumor that Amazon was building a cloud gaming platform has been around for quite some time, and that rumor is now officially confirmed. Luna will be a Cloud Gaming service that appears to be a combination of Google Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud service. Amazon will offer you the ability to "subscribe" to game channels that will give you access to all the available games on that channel.
One of these channels is called Luna Plus, and it will be available for $5.99 a month during * Luna's* early access period. This channel will include games such as Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, Iconoclasts, Grid, Abzu, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. More games will be added to the channel over time.
Amazon is also partnering with Ubisoft to create a channel-specific to all Ubisoft games. This will allow you to play your favorite Ubisoft games in Luna as long as you are subscribed to their channel. Amazon says that this channel is one of many channels in development to offer users the ability to subscribe to their favorite publishers.
Luna will be backed by Amazon Web Services, Amazon's massive cloud computing infrastructure. This will allow players to enjoy up to 4K resolution gaming at 60FPS with up too two simultaneous connections. This means that you can play from two separate devices at the same time!
Along with the announcement of the streaming platform, Amazon also announced a dedicated gaming controller for the Luna service. This controller, which will cost $49.99 during * Luna's* early access period, will directly connect to AWS to help with gaming latency when playing.
Amazon has said that its 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."
It is relatively similar to how Google Stadia's controller connects directly to your WiFi. The good news is, you do not need the Luna Controller to play games on Luna, but it is one of the best options for low-latency gaming using Amazon's platform.
Twitch, Amazon's Live Streaming platform, will be integrated into Luna as well. You will be able to view streams for games on the platform and launch games directly from Twitch to jump into playing games.
This integration is similar to what Google is trying to offer with its video platform, YouTube.
Currently, Luna has no set release date. However, you can sign up for early access by going to Amazon's website.
In a press release that landed after the announcement, Amazon states that an Android App is currently in the works and will be released when it is finished.
With seeing how Cloud Gaming is currently evolving, we see multiple "types" of Cloud Gaming platforms.
We have platforms that give you access to a fully working Windows-based computer like Shadow.
We have platforms that give you access to playing games that you already own, such as NVIDIA GeForce Now.
We have platforms that give you access to a full library of games like Microsoft's xCloud through their Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.
We have platforms that feel like a whole new console, like Google Stadia.
And now, we have a platform that brings together the subscription service that xCloud has, and the dedicated console-like feeling that Google Stadia brings. That platform is Luna.
Hopefully, Amazon can sell the idea of Luna a lot better than how Google sold Stadia. Stadia had a rough launch, but it is slowly getting better. It sounds like Amazon may not make the same mistake.
What are your thoughts on Amazon's announcement of entering the Cloud Gaming scene?