Cool Tech

Amazon Luna Cloud Gaming Service Launches


A while ago, Amazon started testing out their Luna cloud gaming service. Now, users can officially sign up for the service to lock in reduced pricing. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you’ll be able to test out the service for free. If you aren’t, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial. Let’s take a closer look.

What’s Available

Currently, Amazon Luna has six different channels. We hesitate to call them “tiers” because they don’t build on each other. Each Amazon Luna channel has games that are virtually distinct from the other on the cloud gaming service (we can find only a few games that show up on more than one list). The largest channel with the most games is the Luna+ offering. This channel has games from all genres with some recognizable titles like Sonic, Resident Evil, and Devil May Cry. Currently, there are more than 100 games available on the Luna+ channel.

The Family channel has over 40 games that are designed to be easy to play and not at all controversial. They are guaranteed to be E and E10+ rated. The Retro channel features many classical games like Street Fighter, Contra, and Castlevania. There are over 50 titles in the Retro channel but some are collections that include more than one edition to the game series.

There are two publisher-specific channels, Jackbox and Ubisoft. In both of these channels, you have access to games from the publisher. With Jackbox Games channel, you can play their very popular party games. With the Ubisoft+ channel, you get access to their extensive library including multiple versions of their Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series.

Lastly, we have the Prime channel. This is Amazon’s channel specifically for Prime subscribers. Those that have an Amazon Prime membership will get free access to a limited number of games from the Luna cloud gaming service. These games (currently four titles) will rotate monthly.

Amazon Luna Pricing

On April 1, starting a new subscription for Luna+ will cost $9.99 per month and Family Channel will cost $5.99 per month. Existing early access customers, and customers who sign up for Luna+ or Family channel by March 31, 2022, can lock in founder’s pricing and keep Luna+ at $5.99 per month and Family channel $2.99 per month, so long as they maintain their subscriptions in good standing.

The Retro channel is available for $4.99 per month, the Jackbox Games channel for $4.99 per month, and the Ubisoft+ channel for $17.99 per month.

Features

The Amazon Luna cloud gaming service offers 1080p/60fps streaming (can be lowered to 720p to save data). You can stream to Twitch with a single button press. A facecam (using a webcam or your phone) can be automatically overlaid as well which is a nice feature. Amazon offers a dedicated Luna controller (for $50) or you can use an Xbox or PlayStation controller. Now, Amazon also lets you use your phone to control games on the Luna cloud-based gaming service with an app download (available for both iOS and Android).

To play a game on Luna, you’ll need a Windows PC, Mac, Fire TV, Fire tablet, Chromebook, iPhone, iPad, or Andriod phone. This means that you can’t use just any device that has access to the Amazon Prime app. Luna needs to be accessed through the web browser on your device. Of course, Amazon would prefer that you use one of their Fire devices to play their Luna cloud gaming service.

Our Take

Cloud-based gaming services are not new. Google has tried it (we think Stadia is still out there?) but none of them have really taken off. Giving Prime subscribers free access to a limited number of games is a great way for Amazon to promote their new Luna cloud gaming service. It will be interesting to see how well this service gets adopted. Have you tried out Luna yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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