Amazon is entering the game-streaming fray with Luna, its answer to Stadia and GeForce Now
With as much ceremony as you’d expect from a virtual press conference, Amazon has unveiled Luna, its first foray into the world of cloud gaming. Acting as a direct rival to the likes of Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now, Luna is a cloud gaming service built for Fire TV devices, mobile phones and PCs.
Luna runs on Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) infrastructure and launches alongside the Luna Controller, a wireless gamepad that connects directly to the cloud for latency-free gaming. You can also play Luna games with a mouse and keyboard or other Bluetooth controllers but with a Luna Controller, you will not need to re-pair devices when you hop from, say, a Fire TV Stick to your PC.
Which is an option, by the way. Like Google Stadia, Luna offers immediate pick-up-and-play services, meaning you can leave your game on one device and pick up where you left off almost immediately on another.
Also like Stadia, Luna is tiered, offering both free and paid experiences. The paid version – Luna Plus – costs $5.99/mth and nets you access to a library of games available to play instantly, while the free version requires that you pay for any games you’d like to play.
Amazon has also leveraged its ownership of game streaming platform Twitch to flesh out the Luna experience. Once inside the app, you’ll be able to watch streamers playing Luna games and – assuming you own the game or a Luna Plus subscription – jump straight into the game being streamed.
As for games, Amazon’s library currently consists of roughly 100 titles, including some heavy-hitters from game developer Ubisoft (like the latest Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 6). This is seemingly the only big-name developer to have signed up to Luna thus far but we’re sure there are more to follow.
Sadly, Luna isn’t available just yet. US customers can apply to be a part of the early access programme, but beyond that, it looks like we’re in for a bit of a wait. What we can tell you is that at launch, Luna will work on Fire TV devices, plus PC and Mac. There’s an app for iPhone and iPad, but the Android version is still in the making.