Amazon today unveiled its cloud gaming platform called Luna at its 2020 hardware event. The news comes as no surprise: since last year, there have been rumors of a service formerly codenamed Tempo, and an Amazon-made game controller has surfaced on the web ahead of launch.
It is unclear when Luna will launch, but it will initially be available on Windows, macOS, Fire TV, and iPhone and iPad (via web apps). The Android version is planned to be released later. Amazon says interested US users may already request early access. Not a word is said about the possibility and time of entering the international market.
The Luna Plus subscription will be available at an “entry price” of $ 5.99 per month during Early Access, giving subscribers the ability to play multiple projects on two devices simultaneously at up to 4K @ 60fps for select games. Naturally, the cloud service will run on the company’s well-known AWS web platform.
Amazon said there will be over 100 games available under Luna Plus, including Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee, GRID, Abzu and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Amazon said it will add more games over time. The company, for example, is partnering with Ubisoft to create a separate game channel (i.e. self-subscription. This is how Amazon describes it:
“Players who subscribe to this channel will have access to their favorite Ubisoft games up to 4K resolution, mobile gameplay and access to new games when the channel starts: for example, Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising will be available on release day. This is the first of many Luna game channels under developmentwhere customers can launch games from their favorite publishers and genres. “
Luna will also be integrated with Twitch. Inside Luna, players will be able to watch Twitch broadcasts, and through Twitch, they can immediately launch Luna games. Interestingly, in addition to Bluetooth controllers, control via a traditional PC mouse and keyboard combination is supported. Amazon also unveiled its own Alexa-enabled Luna Controller, which will retail for $ 49.99 during Early Access.
Similar to the Google Stadia controller, the Luna Controller connects directly to the cloud to reduce latency and prioritizes Wi-Fi over Bluetooth. Amazon estimates the Luna Controller via Cloud Direct reduces latency by 17-30ms compared to Bluetooth on PC and Fire TV. Due to the fact that the Luna Controller connects directly to cloud servers, players can easily switch between screens: for example, from Fire TV to smartphone.
In addition to owning the streaming service Twitch, Amazon also develops its own games, including the online shooter Crucible, which launched so badly that it quickly returned to closed beta. The company is also working on a multiplayer game called New World, which was due to debut this summer and then delayed until 2021.
Amazon is now becoming a direct competitor to services like Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud, or GeForce Now. Let’s see what comes out of all this and whether the concept of streaming games becomes really mainstream in the near future.
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