Amazon announce cloud gaming service Luna
It's in early access for now
Of course Amazon is launching a cloud gaming service. How did I not see this coming? Amazon Luna is the company's upcoming service for playing games on most of your favorite screens via subscription packages to different libraries. They've opened applications to the early access version of the service currently available in mainland United States.
"Players can enjoy Luna games on their favorite devices without lengthy downloads or updates, expensive hardware or complicated configuration," Amazon say. "They can even start playing on one screen and seamlessly pick up and continue on another. At launch, Luna will be available on Fire TV, PC, and Mac as well as on web apps for iPhone and iPad, with Android coming soon."
Just check out this happy gamer right here playing on a phone, a television, and for some reason every screen in a bowling alley. Let's not get carried away now, cloud gamers. Keep to screens that are actually yours, yeah?
On the hardware side, Amazon say that you can use their Luna controller, mouse & keyboard, an Xbox One controller, or a PS4 controller. The Luna controller has a built-in support for Amazon's AI personal assistant Alexa but otherwise looks pretty much like everyone else's modern dual-stick device.
Speaking of Amazon products, it also comes as little surprise that Luna and Twitch will play nice together. "Inside the Luna experience, players will see Twitch streams for games in the service, and from Twitch, they’ll be able to instantly start playing Luna games," Amazon say.
As for the service itself, early access pricing is $5.99 per month. That'll net you unlimited hours of play time with their current library of games called Luna+ which will include Resident Evil 7, Control, Abzu, and several other options with more being added later. You'll be able to stream on two devices at once in 1080p resolution at 60fps. 4k resolution support is also coming later.
Amazon also say that an Ubisoft channel is coming soon with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and other Ubi games which Ubisoft say will be available to play on the same launch day as other platforms. They've not given a price for the Ubisoft channel yet. Seems likely there will be more channels announced later on a bit like Amazon's Prime Video service.
Will Luna actually be worth it? Katharine says in her cloud gaming services review from earlier this year that the services available so far are "one big game of compromises". GeForce Now has since improved but still needs more games to be worth the while, she says.
You can read more of Amazon's FAQs about Luna on their site or apply for an early access invite.