After several rumors and teasers that Amazon may be joining the battle for their own cloud-based gaming solution, the company has now officially announced their new cloud gaming service called Luna, and you can sign up now for Early Access if you live in the US.

If you’ve heard of Google Stadia, then you know exactly what kind of service this is, as the premise is essentially exactly the same: play games on almost any device with a screen, instantly and at the best quality. It’s cloud gaming, except this time by one of the other biggest companies in the world, Amazon.

Officially, Amazon Luna will be available on PC, Mac, Amazon’s Fire TV, and web apps for both the iPhone and iPad (which probably explains why Xbox and Google are having such a tough time bringing their own cloud gaming services to Apple’s iOS devices, as Amazon could have struck a deal with Apple).

Games and pricing

Amazon Luna will currently cost $5.99 per month to use during its Early Access period, and if you were worried about having to purchase each game separately much like Google’s Stadia platform, Amazon seems to be doing it a bit differently.

That price is specifically for the Luna+ channel, which offers “unlimited hours of play” across up to 2 devices at the same time and up to 1080p/60fps performance, plus a “growing library of games” that includes Control, Resident Evil 7, Grid and more. 

Another channel has also been revealed for Ubisoft, which will include new titles like Assassins Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising. All new and upcoming Ubisoft titles like Far Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising will be available on the Luna service the same day that they launch on other platforms. No pricing for the Ubisoft channel was detailed yet.

Weirdly, the Ubisoft channel has a slightly different set of features, which restricts players to streaming on only 1 device at a time instead of the usual 2 devices that Luna+ allows.

Performance

If you sign up to the service, then you can expect to play on a decent range of titles up to 1080p resolution and 60fps performance, with select titles able to be streamed at up to 4K resolution (though that feature is coming soon).

You’ll need a minimum internet connection speed of 10 Mbps to play at 1080p, or 35 Mbps for 4K, but the better the internet connection then the more streaming quality and resolution will improve. The service also supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz, though 5GHz is recommended for “an improved gaming experience.

In terms of data usage, according to Amazon cloud gaming can use up to 10GB per hour when playing at 1080p, so it’s recommended to check with your internet service provider about data caps and details for tracking your usage. When playing on mobile, it’s recommended to connect to wifi whenever possible to minimize your data usage.

Luna controller

Interestingly, just like Google, Amazon is bringing out their own controller for the service as well, which is of course designed specifically for Luna. There’s no need for pairing your controller with each device you decide to turn to, as the controller hooks up directly to the cloud: “no pairing, just play” as it says.

The Luna controller also features low-friction thumbsticks, a textured grip, and allows for wireless play (though can also support Bluetooth or USB for offline play). Additionally, since this is from Amazon, the Luna controller also features integration with Alexa, so you can talk to your controller and ask it to play the latest game you want to play.

You can also play with an Xbox One, DualShock 4, or even a mouse and keyboard if you want, though presumably it will not include the various Luna-specific benefits as the Luna controller itself.

And since Amazon also owns the Twitch streaming service, you can watch your favorite streamers play the latest games, and then whenever you want to just hop right into that very game that they are playing.

Early Access sign up

To gain access to Amazon Luna, you’ll have to apply for an invitation, which is only available in the mainland US at the moment (but does not include Hawaii, Alaska, or other U.S. territories). Invites are sent out on a rolling basis, so if you’re accepted you’ll be notified by email. The Early Access introductory price currently costs $5.99 per month, and will increase to an unknown price once the Early Access period is over.

Amazon Luna system requirements

The Luna app can be used on all sorts of devices including PC, Mac, Fire TV, and web apps like Chrome on PC and Mac, and the Safari web browser for iPhone and iPad. The exact device requirements to run the Luna app on each platform are as follows:

  • PC (requires Windows 10 with support for DirectX 11)
  • Mac (OSX 10.13+)
  • FireTV devices (Fire TV Stick - 2nd gen, Fire TV Stick 4K, or Fire TV Cube - 2nd gen)
  • Chrome web browser (version 83+) for PC and Mac
  • Safari web browser (iOS14) for iPhone and iPad

There’s a lot of interesting stuff about Amazon’s Luna, but also quite a few questions as well, but we’ll just have to wait and see what else Amazon reveals in the future.

What do you think? Are you excited for Amazon Luna? How do you feel about Cloud gaming now? Have your opinions changed? Will this kill off Google Stadia? Let us know your thoughts!

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