Following last year's big announcement, Amazon is all set to mark its debut in the gaming market with new cloud gaming service Luna. Luna has already stirred the whole gaming industry with all its unique features and services offered.
It takes a huge leap forward from the other games in its class with its unrestricted entry, which obviously appeals to any and every gamer in the world. Neither there is a need to purchase an expensive console draining hundreds of dollars from pocket, nor the downloads or updates will take forever to install. Luna is one gaming service that saves both money and time for its users.
A solid wireless connection, any kind of a screen and a subscription - that is all you need to experience this cloud gaming service. You will just have to sign up and stream your preferred games in your device and if that doesn't suffice, the cloud allows you to effortless switching between the games. I know right!
At present Luna is accessible only on invitation only basis, mostly for gamers and serious Twitch users.
Here is Some Basic Information about Luna
- Luna costs $5.99/month for early access and $14.99/month for beta access through Ubisoft+.
- The service can be accessed through your Fire TV, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and select Android devices.
- As of now, two screens can be put to use simultaneously.
- Action games, such as Resident Evil 7, Control, and Panzer Dragoon, adventure games such as, A Plague Tale: Innocence and The Surge 2, platformers like Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair and Iconoclasts, plus fan favorites, including the likes of GRID, ABZU and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons are readily available on Luna.
- The resolution is 4K/60 fps for select titles.
For those who are unaware about how the cloud gaming works and how is it different from the games played in a console, here is a distinctive discussion on both.
Play it on Desktop, Play it on Phone - Whatever you Like!
A gaming console does not allow a game, already installed in it, to play on any other device. Gaming consoles like SEGA Genesis in the 1990s, Nintendo DS in the early 2000s, and for the Nintendo Switch of today - all feature similar systems and that's why cannot be picked and played on any other device.
Here is where the appeal lies of cloud gaming because the game can be saved and started playing at one screen and then be picked up on another device right from the very place you left it, without missing any fun. It allows you to start playing a game on your desktop and then you can again continue it on your mobile phone whenever you like.
Console gaming essentially runs locally on the user's system hardware. That's the reason the users first must buy either a hard copy format, like a disc or a cartridge, or a digital download of the game.
Just like streaming movies on Netflix, cloud gaming on the other hand runs the game on remote servers that stream the content to user's choice of device. No more hassle of installation or physical hardware.
Quite a Few Competitors Running in the Same Space
Luna will not enjoy a monopoly in the cloud gaming space. Project xCloud, is Microsoft's own "Netflix for games" platform, which was launched last year. 100 Xbox games were made available to be played on Android smartphones and tablets with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate by the tech giant after the trials. Pocket pinch, $14.99 per month.
The one to stand out and run long in the race is Stadia, Google's cloud gaming platform, launched way back in 2019. It's usage is completely free and it offers a one-month trial of Stadia Pro, which then costs $9.99 per month, which gives access to two free games and is far cheaper.
Now comes the most important part, a strong internet connection. A strong internet connection, per se minimum 10 megabits per second (Mbps), is advised by Amazon to use Luna. Continuous streaming of content on a device makes a healthy internet connection a necessity.
Even if high speed broadband connection is available, data consumption is yet another reason of concern to many. Almost every mobile phone or wireless internet plan comes with a limit. Due to this COVID-19 pandemic, people are compelled to remain at homes and work remotely and poor internet connection should be the last thing to worry for them. Recently Comcast, for its new 1.2 terabyte monthly data limit on Xfinity, has taken the heat from the lawmakers for its poor timing.
Here's a fact to remember: Up to 10 GB of data per hour can be consumed for a single hour playing on Luna, according to Desructoid.
Unaware about your monthly data cap or usage, Luna or any other cloud gaming subscription can help you audit the same. Worth the try may be.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) with its vast number of servers across the world is one of the largest providers of cloud computing. Luna's services are completely subjective to cloud and with Amazon at its centre, it obviously gains an edge. For reference, Netflix uses (AWS) which certainly depicts that Luna's streaming and other performance level are beyond any doubt if not exceedingly better than others.
Amazon Means Serious Gaming Business
- In 2014 Amazon had obtained Twitch, the video game streaming platform and now its close assimilation with Luna seems to increase Luna's worth just a bit more. Every landing page of Luna on the Amazon will also offer the user to "watch popular Twitch streams directly from Luna and go from watching Twitch to instantly playing on Luna."
- Apart from a keyboard and mouse or a third-party gaming controller, an additional Luna controller makes the experience of gaming more exciting for the users on the platform. Owing to its connection to AWS cloud servers, the Luna controllers offer unique benifical features like Alexa compatibility, low-latency gaming, and the ability to switch connectivity between devices. This companion controller takes the gaming experience to a whole new level.
- As of now basic Luna+ library can be subscribed for $5.99/month that can give access to a limited game library. However, Amazon is putting hard endeavor in other publishing channels for Luna. There seems to be quite a probability to sign up with Ubisoft+ to gain access to that publisher's library of games, including titles like Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising.
The press release from the Amazon states that it is "the first of multiple Luna game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favorite publishers and genres." This certainly points out that if a popular game studio comes out a with a Luna channel, it might be a good idea to give it a try for a month.
Last but not the least, Stadia at the time of it's launch had only 22 titles, whereas the Luna+ game selection includes 67 titles already, which surely looks promising.