Amazon Introduces Cloud Gaming Service, Luna

Amazon has unveiled its own cloud gaming service called Luna, which will use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its backbone. CNET reports the service is touting the ability to play anywhere, including iPhone and iPad. You can request early access to the service starting today.

Amazon Luna Platforms

Amazon says that at launch, Luna will be playable on PC, Mac, Amazon’s own Fire TV devices, as well as iPhone and iPad through web apps. An Android version is said to be coming soon as well.

This is a notable difference between Luna and the cloud gaming services from Microsoft and Google–xCloud and Stadia, respectively–which have run into Apple policies that have prevented the ability to play on iOS devices. Apple recently changed its rules, but Microsoft issued a statement maintaining that it’s still a bad experience for gamers.

Luna+ Subscription Service

Amazon is offering a Luna+ game channel, which gives you access to a library of games for a subscription price. During the early access period, Luna+ will include a number of games like Resident Evil 7, Control, and A Plague Tale: Innocence, among others. It will cost $6 per month, and Amazon promises quality up to 4K with 60FPS for some games. You can play on two devices at a time with Luna+.

Amazon also announced a partnership with Ubisoft to offer a special gaming channel through Luna. That will give you access to new games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising on release day. It did not detail pricing for those games or the Ubisoft channel.

You can check out all of the games announced for Luna+ below:

Luna+ Early Access Game Library:

Resident Evil 7ControlPanzer DragoonA Plague Tale: InnocenceThe Surge 2Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible LairIconoclastsGRIDABZUBrothers: A Tale of Two SonsAmazon Luna Plus Twitch

Amazon is also leveraging its ownership of Twitch. The Luna interface will show Twitch streams for games that are supported in the service, and players can launch into games right from the Twitch. This is similar to the functionality that Google has promised is coming to Stadia and YouTube.

The Twitch functionality with a competing service could also explain why, after closing Mixer, Microsoft has partnered with Facebook Gaming instead of Twitch.

Amazon Luna Hardware

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service that’s meant to take advantage of the devices you already own, so Amazon isn’t producing dedicated hardware for it–with one notable exception. The Amazon Luna Controller is an Alexa-enabled controller that connects directly to the cloud service for a lower-latency experience, similar to the Google Stadia controller. And since it’s connected directly to the service instead of the app, you can switch screens easily without changing your controller sync. It will be available for $50 during the early access period.

You can also play with any regular Bluetooth game controller, or with a keyboard and mouse.

Early Access Sign-Ups

You can request an early access invitation now through the official site. The early access members will also be invited to give feedback to influence the service going forward. The company has not announced when invites will begin to arrive or when it expects to launch the full version of the service.

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