Amazon is finally showing off what it’s working on in the cloud gaming space. The company revealed the Amazon Luna streaming platform today, which enables Amazon-device owners to play games on their connected TVs from a remote server. This includes Amazon’s Fire TV, but it also works with PC and Mac. Amazon even built a web app to ensure that Luna can work on iOS outside of the confines of the Apple App Store. This separates it from Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which are trying to launch apps on iPhone and iPad. Android support is coming later.
Publishers and developers are already working with Amazon on this service. When players boot up Luna for the first time, they will find familiar games like Resident Evil 7, Panzer Dragoon, and A Plague Tale: Innocence.
“We created Luna to make it easy to play great games on the devices customers already own and love,” Amazon entertainment device and services boss Marc Whitten said. “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.”
Gaming fans in the United States can begin requesting early access to Luna starting today. A full launch will come after this testing period.
Of course, Amazon is powering all of this with its Amazon Web Services platform. Gamers are among one of the most enthusiastic audiences, and Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are hoping they can get gamers to pay for the expansion of their servers.
Gaming channels, 4K, and playing through Twitch
Amazon said that Luna can support for gaming at a 4K resolution and 60 frames per second in “select titles.” It brought this up in relation to its Ubisoft gaming channel. This feature works like Amazon’s Prime Video channels. For example, I subscribe to PBS Kids for $5 per month on Prime Video to ensure I have plenty of content for my kids that goes beyond what the free PBS Kids app provides.
Amazon is bringing that concept to gaming. You can subscribe to the Ubisoft gaming channel and get access to many of its games in 4K60. This includes new games — like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising — as they launch.
On Twitch, which Amazon owns, gaming fans can launch straight into Luna while watching a game. Twitch is already a huge discovery tool, and Amazon wants to capitalize on this. Now that’s a vertical integration!
Finally, Amazon is also launching the Amazon Luna Controller for an introductory price of $50. This works like the Stadia gamepad that connects direct to the server over Wi-Fi so it can travel instantly between screens. You can, of course, also use a keyboard and mouse or Bluetooth controller.