Move over Google Stadia because Amazon is here with a cloud gaming service of its own.
Not content with infecting every other part of our lives, Jeff Bezos has decided to move into video games. Meet Luna, Amazon’s new gaming platform that, like Stadia, eschews expensive hardware in favor of streaming games in 1080p directly to smart devices that you probably already own. Amazon didn’t give a specific launch date, but Luna will work on Fire TV, Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android at some point down the road. And at least some games will be playable at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
Amazon is committing to an “early access period” with a starting price of $5.99 per month for Luna+, which grants access to a theoretically expandable library of games. Amazon didn’t say anything about Prime subscribers getting access to Luna, unfortunately.
To start, Luna will launch with heavy hitters like Control and Resident Evil 7, among other games. Amazon is also partnering with Ubisoft to eventually allow day-one Luna access to upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed Valhallha and Far Cry 6.
By the way, if you want in on the early access period, it’s invite-only. You can request an invitation here.
Of course Luna has its own controller, which costs $49.99 and connects to the same WiFi network as your Luna-enabled device in order to control games. Google Stadia works the same way. Notably, Amazon confirmed Xbox One and PS4 controllers work with Luna, too. You could probably guess that Luna will have a bunch of Twitch hooks built right in since Amazon owns both platforms. Players can watch streams for Luna games or even launch a Luna game right from the Twitch interface.
At first blush, Luna looks like it could be a slightly more ideal version of what Google promised with Stadia last year. The $5.99 monthly charge for Luna is cheaper than the $10 monthly Stadia Pro subscription, and it’s compatible with a far wider variety of devices than Stadia was in its early access launch a year ago. None of that matters if Amazon can’t deliver unique, original games to sell Luna. Google hasn’t exactly done that for Stadia, so it’s not like the bar is very high.