Amazon Luna Is Stadia and Microsoft’s Newest Cloud Gaming Competitor

Illustration for article titled Amazon Luna Is Stadia and Microsofts Newest Cloud Gaming Competitor

Image: Amazon

Amazon has a game streaming service. It’s been rumored for years now and it’s finally here. Starting at $6 a month with early access, the new service—dubbed Luna+—will have Twitch integration, a special channel just for Ubisoft games, and an optional controller that connects directly to the cloud.

Luna+ wasn’t a possibility as much an inevitability. Like Google and Microsoft, Amazon has an enormous cloud computing infrastructure, AWS, so moving from cloud computing to gaming streaming was a no-brainer. Microsoft has built a great cloud gaming system which builds off its strong position in the console market. Google’s Stadia, on the other hand, has struggled to woo developers. Amazon’s system may face similar issues as a new entrant into the gaming market, but it’s launching with well-known games including Control, Metro Exodus, and Sonic Mania.

There will also be a whole channel dedicated to Ubisoft games with day and date releases of upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed: Vahalla and Far Cry 6.

Besides the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the new service will also work on both PC and Mac. An Android app is coming soon according to a press release dropped after the event, and curiously Amazon may be one of the first cloud gaming services on the iPhone, as it will have web apps available for both iPhone and iPad.

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Illustration for article titled Amazon Luna Is Stadia and Microsofts Newest Cloud Gaming Competitor

Image: Amazon

Luna+ is $6 a month, but if you really want to take advantage of the new service you’ll want to invest in the $50 controller which Amazon says “removes latency” by connecting directly with AWS. Amazon claims that when playing games streamed from a Fire TV Stick the Luna controller has 20ms less latency than a standard Bluetooth controller paired with the Fire TV.

Naturally, Twitch will also be integrated with the service, though again details were scarce. You can assume it will be similar to Stadia’s integration with Youtube which lets viewers directly access games streamers are playing and sometimes even interact with the games being streamed directly.

This story is developing…

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