Amazon's long-rumoured cloud gaming service has finally been unveiled; it's called Luna and will be heading to Fire TV, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android soon.
As with Google and Microsoft's similarly styled offerings, Stadia and Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass, Amazon's pitch is immediate access to a wide range of games across multiple devices. Unlike Stadia's much-maligned effort, however, Amazon is opting for something closer to an all-inclusive subscription model, initially offering over 100 games via its Luna+ channel for an "introductory price" of $5.99 USD a month during early access.
Games will be playable at up to 4K/60fps, and will initially include Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, GRID, Resident Evil 7, Abzu, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. More will be added over time, and Amazon notes games can be played on up to two devices simultaneously with a single subscription.
In addition to Luna+, Amazon is partnering with Ubisoft to create a bespoke, publisher-specific cloud gaming channel, which sounds like it will have its own separate subscription fee. Members will be able to play new Ubisoft titles - including Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising - on release day and at up to 4K. Amazon says, "This is the first of multiple Luna game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favourite publishers and genres."
As you'd expect, the Amazon-owned Twitch plays a major role in the company's cloud gaming plans, and Luna subscribers will be able to watch streams for games from within the service, or instantly start playing Luna games from Twitch. Doing so requires either a mouse and keyboard, Bluetooth controller, or Amazon's new "Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology".
The latter is an Alexa-enabled device that connects directly to the cloud (as its name suggests) and "prioritises un-interrupted wifi for lower latency gaming", for what Amazon says are reductions of between 17 to 30 milliseconds on PC, Fire TV, and Mac, compared to a standard Bluetooth controller. The Luna Controller is intended to enable seamless switching between screens "without additional pairing or configuration changes", and is available at an introductory price of $49.99 USD during early access.
There's no date for Luna's early access launch just yet, but customers in the US can request an invitation into the testing phase from today. Amazon says Luna will be available on Fire TV, PC, and Mac at launch, and on iPhone and iPad via web apps. Android support is "coming soon".