Amazon Announces Cloud Gaming Service, With A Very Familiar Looking Controller
Amazon Luna is a new cloud gaming service that will stream games to PC, Mac, and Fire TV devices, as well as web apps for iPhone and iPad.
At an introductory monthly price of $5.99, members will select from "game channels" that focus on a particular publisher or developer. So, the Ubisoft game channel will provide Ubisoft games on the day and date they launch, with support for 4K resolution and gaming on the go. That means Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and Far Cry 6 will be instantly available for members when these games are released later this year. The Ubisoft game channel is "the first of multiple Luna game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favorite publishers and genres." However, there's no info on how much these will cost on top of the monthly membership.
With more than 100 games available from Luna's launch, it's already ahead of Google Stadia's shaky start. We also noticed that Luna's controller looks very similar to Stadia's, albeit in shades of proud purple as opposed to luminous white and orange. Totally coincidental, I'm sure. The controller is Alexa-enabled, and it will connect directly to Fire TV devices, therefore minimising latency between the device and the game. It's priced at $49.99 in the early access period for the streaming service, which is only open to those in the US.
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In addition, there's another tier to the Luna membership, titled Luna Plus. Structured as a channel for the standard Luna service, this unlocks 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second for "select titles," and the ability to play on two separate devices simultaneously. Furthermore, Luna will integrate with Twitch, and Amazon claims that "players will see Twitch streams for games in the service, and from Twitch, they'll be able to instantly start playing Luna games." Again, sort of like Stadia in that respect.
Ultimately, Luna will need to be put through its paces before we're able to vouch for its advantages and disadvantages compared to its competitors. At least Amazon is amping up Luna, which is much, much more than it did for Crucible, its online multiplayer shooter that was released in May and unreleased in June. Though it was free to play, match-making times stretched into the double digits, and it was jostling elbows with established games and communities like Destiny, Valorant, and League of Legends. Also, you know what was weird? That this game wasn't plastered all over Twitch, given that Twitch is, you know, Amazon.
Seeing as Amazon has more experience with streaming services than it does with game production and support, we should count on Luna to be buoyed by Alexa, Prime Video, and Amazon Web Services. We'll keep you in the loop about when Luna will roll out for other regions, and what other "game channels" it will offer.
Featured Image Credit: Amazon