Amazon and its richer than God CEO Jeff Bezos have money to burn, so it’s investing in video game streaming by launching Luna, a new service not to be confused with the popular K-pop group LOONA.
The service is currently accepting requests for early access, which will be launching only in the United States for the time being. Like similar services Google Stadia and PlayStation Now, it’s touting out the same selling points about not waiting to download updates, ubiquity across multiple devices by allowing you to access games through a browser rather than an app store (I’m sure Apple is thrilled about that) or dedicated device, and instant access to some pretty big games like Control, Resident Evil 7, and even the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion. At the moment, the compatible devices include: PC, Mac, Fire TV, and web apps on iPhone and iPad.
For the early access period, the Luna+ subscription for the service will cost $5.99, which grants you the following:
- Unlimited hours of play.
- Growing library of games.
- Up to 1080p/60fps (4K coming soon).
- Stream on 2 devices at a time.
Once the early access phase is over and the service launches in earnest, it sounds like the subscription price is going to go up, but Amazon didn’t give any indication as to how much, merely saying it would notify users within 30 days of the price change.
For some reason, Ubisoft and its library will be getting their own super special channel on Luna, which will host its games, specifically. There’s no indication about any deals that will be coming along with that beyond that it will feature the ultimate edition of select games.
To play games on Luna, you can use an Xbox One controller, a PS4 controller, a mouse and keyboard, or you can buy a dedicated controller, which, as many have pointed out, looks almost identical to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. This might be indicative of Amazon looking at what’s selling on its marketplace and copying it, as the company has been known to do. The controller is currently unavailable for purchase to the general public, and won’t be unless you’re invited to the early access phase.
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Ultimately, it’s fair to be cautious about a new streaming service, as they’ve historically been a mixed experience for several companies over the years. Google Stadia had a fairly rocky launch, but the company is still investing in studios to develop exclusively for the service. Microsoft launched its xCloud service on Android devices last month. And Sony has had PlayStation Now on its systems for years with little fanfare despite notable improvements.
Beyond Luna, Amazon’s history with video games has been iffy, such as its hero shooter Crucible going back into beta after its initial launch due to a litany of issues.