Yet another company is betting big on the games streaming market. This time around its Amazon, who revealed its Luna platform yesterday (Thursday, September 24th).
This service will allow consumers to play titles on a variety of devices. On launch, it's going to be working on Amazon's Fire TV peripheral, as well as PC and app, in addition to a web-app based version for iPhone and iPad. Android support is said to be coming soon. An early access version of Luna is set to roll out to US consumers, with users able to be part of this testing phase right now, but there's no word on when this will actually be beginning.
The service can be played using keyboard and mouse, or a Bluetooth game controller, but Amazon has also made its own $49.99 Luna Controller. This comes with the company's Alexa voice assistant and – like Google Stadia's gamepad – connects directly to the cloud.
The Luna+ channel will feature over 100 already-released titles, such as Resident Evil 7, Control and Panzer Dragoon at an "introductory price" of $5.99 per month. Amazon promises that these will be playable at 4K and 60 frames-per-second.
Amazon is also teaming up with Ubisoft for channel specifically for the French publishing giant's titles, with users able to stream new releases like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising when they launch.
“We created Luna to make it easy to play great games on the devices customers already own and love,” said Amazon's VP of entertainment devices and services, Marc Whitten.
“It’s Day One for Luna—we are excited to work with gamers, streamers, and publishers like Ubisoft and Remedy Entertainment to build a great gaming experience for everyone.”
Ubisoft's SVP of partnerships and revenue Chris Early added: "We're proud to be working alongside Amazon on Luna, utilizing the power of cloud gaming to provide our players with another way to access our games, wherever they are. Ubisoft's channel on Luna will allow players to experience our new releases along with many of our catalogue games, while enjoying player-friendly features like Alexa and Twitch integrations."
In launching Luna, Amazon is going up against other giants in the cloud games space such as Google and Microsoft. The former launched its Stadia service in November of last year, with mixed success, while the latter rolled out its xCloud platform earlier this month.
Xbox's offering has the distinct advantage of a huge library of content and the benefit of existing relationships in the games space, while Google Stadia feels like it's fallen flat. If there is one advantage that Amazon has over those two companies, it is its more expansive cloud server infrastructure though. Whether this matters or gives the firm an edge is yet to be seen.
Amazon has been trying to make video games for some time, recruiting a slew of industry talent in 2014 such as Portal vet Kim Swift and Clint Hocking of Far Cry 2 fame. Since, however, the company hasn't exactly had much success, with several games being cancelled and numerous staff laid off in June 2019.