Amazon’s long-rumoured game streaming service is real after all. At its annual fall hardware event last night, Amazon announced Luna, its answer to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud. As expected, Luna will be powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) allowing gamers to stream and play games in real-time directly from the cloud on PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices (coming later). The service is invite-only at this point of time, which in simple terms means that it is still in beta, and it is only available in the US at an introductory price of $5.99 a month.
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In the early access phase, $5.99 a month will get you full access to Luna Plus with over 100 games including some big-ticket titles like Control and Resident Evil 7 playable across two devices simultaneously at up to 1080p 60fps. 4K streaming will be available on select titles soon. Amazon is also partnering with Ubisoft to bring the latter’s upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 to Luna on the same day as their global release.
The whole point of game streaming is that you don’t need powerful machines at home (and elsewhere) to be able to play high-end games. Amazon says Luna will be compatible with the Xbox One controller, DualShock 4 controller, even mouse and keyboard. As is usually the case with such game streaming services, Amazon is also announcing its own Alexa-powered controller designed for Luna. The Luna Controller will cost an additional $49.99 and is not part of early access.
An important requirement to stream games is fast and stable internet. The minimum recommended internet connection speed for Luna is 10Mbps. This is 35Mbps in case of 4K games.
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With Amazon’s foray, you can say the game streaming service space is now starting to heat, even crowd up. Though just because Google, Microsoft and now Amazon have started fighting it out for user share, it doesn’t necessarily mean game streaming has arrived. Far from it. There’s still some time before it goes mainstream and more widely available, but if you happen to be a gamer, 2020 is surely turning out to be an eventful year for you, what with so many options to choose from.