Amazon has announced Luna, a new cloud gaming scheme that enables users to play on existing screens, leveraging the Twitch game streaming platform and relying upon the AWS cloud empire.
In what looks like a direct rival to the Google Stadia offering, Amazon is bringing high-profile games to devices like the Fire TV Stick, streamed via the cloud without the need to download titles or update them.
Well-known titles available via the Early Access trials of the Luna+ channel, which will cost $5.99 a month include: Control, Resident Evil 7, GRID, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Amazon has also announced a dedicated Ubisoft channel, coming this autumn, which will feature access to flagship Ubisoft titles like Assassins Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising on the day they’re released at up to 4K resolution – where available.
The company says this is the first of many planned channel hookups with developers. Reading between the lines, it appears these channels will cost more than the $5.99 Luna+ subscription. It wasn’t made clear whether there’ll be a free tier.
Amazon is also launching a dedicated controller for the service, which will cost $49.99. The Alexa-enabled Luna Controller uses Cloud Direct technology, rather than Bluetooth. The company says the technology lowers latency.
The company explains: “We removed 20 milliseconds of roundtrip latency via Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology vs. a local Bluetooth connection when playing Luna on a Fire TV Stick. Because the Luna Controller connects directly to cloud servers, players can easily switch between screens – such as Fire TV to mobile phone – without additional pairing or configuration changes.”
Naturally there’s a reliance on the Twitch streaming platform, which is owned by Amazon. The company has promised Twitch streams for all of the games available via the Luna service. Early Access can be requested from September in the United States. No news on a UK launch yet.