2020 marks the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century. While we definitely weren’t expecting it to kick-off with a global pandemic, it has actually been a pretty good year for gamers so far. This year has witnessed the announcement and launch of many new video game titles across different platforms, as well as some long-awaited brand new gaming hardware. As for the recently emerging cloud gaming industry, Amazon stepped into the playing field with their very own cloud gaming service called Luna.
The rising trend in Cloud Gaming
Cloud gaming is no longer an alien concept for gamers; maybe somewhat alien due to its lack of availability in many regions across the world. Gamers are well acquainted with or at least aware of existing cloud gaming services such as Stadia, xCloud, GeForce Now, and PlayStation Now. These services are under the ownership of tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Sony, respectively. Rumors about an upcoming cloud gaming service by Amazon was in the air for a while. Even though Amazon’s official announcement of Luna came without prior indication, it isn’t quite surprising for this tech giant to enter the cloud gaming field, given it already owns Twitch, a video game streaming, and content creation platform.
Requirements for Amazon Luna
Luna will be available for Windows PC, Mac, Fire TV, and iOS mobile devices. For Windows PC, the system must have Windows 10 with DirectX 11 support. For Mac, the requirement is OSX 10.13 or above. As for Fire TV, Luna will run on 2nd gen Fire TV Stick, 2nd gen Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Stick 4K. When it comes to mobile platforms, Luna will only be supported by iOS devices for now. According to Luna’s official website, the service would be made available across more devices in the future. While it did not explicitly mention anything about Android devices, we can expect it to eventually make its way to the platform.
It is recommended to have an internet connection with a speed above 10 Mbps for using Luna. If one wishes to stream in 4K, the required speed is 35 Mbps. As for WiFi connection, even though Luna supports 2.4 GHz routers, try to have a 5 GHz router for a hassle-free cloud gaming experience. Moreover, Luna will only be available to the mainland US region for now. Users willing to avail of the service must register for early access on their official website. If their request is accepted, they will be notified via email of the same. For now, we can only assume that Amazon will eventually extend the service to more regions.
About Amazon Luna
Unlike all other cloud gaming services currently in the market, Luna does not have one large unified library of games. Instead, libraries are divided into separate channels, each with their own set of games and services. For now, the service will only feature one channel called Luna+. Luna+ channel is currently priced at $5.99 per month. It features unlimited gameplay hours and access to a library of games that will expand to accommodate more titles.
Players can stream games at 1080p 60 FPS, with support for 4K coming soon. You can also stream your game on two different devices simultaneously. Luna will soon add another channel called Ubisoft. This channel too will allow for unlimited hours of gameplay and access to a library featuring games by Ubisoft. Players will get access to all DLCs and Unlimited Editions for select Ubisoft games. Unlike Luna+, the Ubisoft channel will only allow you to stream games on one device at a time. They are yet to officially announce the price of this channel.
Similar to how Google launched its own controller along with Stadia, Amazon too came up with their own. The Luna Controller has a design primarily for players to play games using the Luna cloud gaming service. This controller will directly connect to Amazon’s servers thereby reducing the latency compared to standard controllers paired with Bluetooth. The Luna Controller also supports Alexa. Players can simply use voice commands to launch the game they want to play. Even though this controller is not officially licensed to be used with game consoles, you can still use it across a variety of devices by connecting it via Bluetooth or USB.
Many users have raised questions across various social media platforms as to whether Amazon Luna can beat existing cloud gaming services. It is way too early to come to a final conclusion as Luna has a long road ahead. Its channel system instead of one unified library makes it different from other services. The competition will indeed be tough for Luna since other services have already started attracting customers with their own offers with regards to game libraries, tiers, and price. Only time will tell whether Luna can coexist with its competitors.
What are your opinions on the Amazon Luna cloud gaming service? Do let us know in the comments!