Today, at Amazon’s hardware event, the company announced several new products including a brand-new game streaming service called Luna. You can read about the new hardware announced here in Leonard’s blog post.
The announcement of Amazon’s new cloud gaming service came as a surprise to many. Previously known as Project Tempo, Luna is similar to other cloud gaming services such as Stadia. It allows you to play your favourite games on the devices you already own.
Let’s take a deeper look at the information released by Amazon today!
Streaming games from the cloud with Amazon Luna
Luna is designed for instant play and is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). There is no need to wait for installs or updates and you never have to worry if you have enough storage space for your games. As expected, Twitch is heavily integrated into Luna and allows you to stream your gameplay to the service with ease as well as allows you to watch other streams.
Additionally, you can play Luna using a Bluetooth controller such as an Xbox One or DualShock 4 controller, mouse and keyboard, or the Luna Controller. As with the Stadia controller, the Luna Controller gives you the best experience as it directly connects to the cloud to offer low latency gaming. As a result, when using the Luna Controller, you can switch between screens effortlessly. And, compared to a Bluetooth controller, the Luna Controller reduces latency between 17 to 30 milliseconds on Fire TV, PC and Mac.
Amazon recommends internet connection speeds for streaming games to be 10Mbps or higher. And, when 4K streaming is available, you’ll need an internet connection of 35 Mbps or higher. Data usage is estimated to be around 10GB/hr for 1080p streams.
Games anywhere you want to play
Luna will offer players the ability to subscribe to the Luna+ game channel. It offers a variety of AAA, shooter, racing, RPG, indie games and more to play. Amazon says that there will be over 100 games available to play including Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, Sonic Mania Plus and more. During early access, Luna+ will cost $5.99 USD a month and more games will be added over time.
Moreover, Luna+ allows unlimited streaming of games on 2 devices at a time with resolutions up to 1080p/60fps. Amazon plans on adding 4K streaming capabilities soon. Furthermore, Amazon announced that a new gaming channel from Ubisoft will be available directly through Luna.
Subscribers to the Ubisoft channel will have access to some of their favourite Ubisoft games and access to new games on day one such as Watch Dogs Legion, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Assassins Creed Valhalla, and Far Cry 6. As with Luna+, you get unlimited streaming of games with resolutions up to 1080p/60fps. Unlike Luna+, streaming games from Ubisoft are limited to 1 device at a time.
AWS Windows servers powered by Nvidia GPUs
Hardware wise, the Luna servers are running Windows powered by Intel Cascade Lake CPUs and Nvidia’s T4 GPUs. This particular Nvidia GPU provides 8.1 teraflops of performance and support DirectX raytracing. What this means is, developers can with relative ease port their code over to Luna. And, they can get games up and running on the service fairly easy.
How do these hardware specs compare to other cloud gaming services? Stadia servers run on Linux and are using custom Intel x86 processors and AMD GPUs that are capable of 10.7 teraflops. And, Xbox’s Project xCloud is running on Xbox One S hardware capable of 1.4 teraflops.
Regardless of hardware specs, it all comes down to ease of use and availability of games. And, at this point, it looks like Amazon is off to a great start.
Amazon Luna looks to make a splash into the realm of cloud gaming this October
Luna launches into early access around the beginning of October. It will be available for Fire TV, PC, Mac, web apps on iPhone and iPad, and Android support is coming soon. At this time it is unknown if you will be able to purchase games on Luna. Or, if it will be subscription based only like Netflix. Out of the gate it looks like Luna will have plenty of games for players across a variety of genres along with support from some big third party publishers.
Currently, Luna is only available in the continental United States via early access invitation. Shortly after today’s announcement, I contacted Amazon to see when Luna might be available in other countries such as Canada. The official response I was given was “We don’t have anything to share on that today except to say we are working hard to make all of the features and devices announced today available everywhere our customers want them.”.
Let me know what you think about Amazon Luna in the comments section below. Would you be willing to give this cloud gaming streaming service a try when it comes to Canada?