Amazon aims to challenge Microsoft’s and Google’s respective xCloud and Stadia game streaming platforms with its own upcoming service called Luna.
At least at the outset, Luna seems to be closers to Stadia than Microsoft’s game streaming platform. The goal of Luna is to let players stream new games from all kinds of devices like Amazon’s Fire TV, mobile apps and browsers. This move makes sense for Amazon since it owns popular game streaming platform Twitch and has an impressive amount of cloud servers, much like Google.
Amazon says Luna will offer a $5.99 USD (about $7.99 CAD) per-month ‘Luna Plus’ subscription that allows players to play a handful of games. In its press release, the company specifically mentions titles like Control, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Metro Exodus.
Further, Luna will offer channels that users can subscribe to for additional game catalogues within Luna. So far, the only confirmed channel comes from Ubisoft, which will offer various games from the French publishing giant. Specifically, this will give subscribers access to select games the same day they release, such as Canadian-made Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (releasing November 10th), Immortals: Fenyx Rising (launches December 4th) and Far Cry 6 (dropping February 18th).
Overall, the company is promising more than 100 games at launch during the beta period, spread between the base Luna subscription and Ubisoft’s channel. Speaking to Engadget, Amazon said this will roughly be a 50/50 split between games from Luna Plus and the Ubisoft channel.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon showed people playing games on iPhones, which currently isn’t possible with Stadia or Microsoft’s Xbox platform because of Apple’s App Store rules. However, it isn’t native support, with Luna instead operating through web apps on Apple platforms.
To keep up with Google’s cloud offering, Amazon developed its own controller as well. Much like the Stadia gamepad, the Luna controller also connects directly to the company’s servers to reduce input lag. Players can use Bluetooth controllers or a mouse and keyboard, but it’s likely those options might have a bit more input lag.
The company plans to offer the service in early access starting today, but it’s only available in the U.S. for now. MobileSyrup has reached out to Amazon for information regarding Canadian availability and will update this story once a response has been received.
Since Amazon owns Twitch, the new gaming service can integrate with the streaming platform. The company didn’t talk about jumping into games directly from streams like Google promised in the past with Stadia, but it seemed to hint at something similar.