Amazon Luna is Now Available in Early Access

Posted on October 21, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Games, PC gaming, Mobile gaming with 11 Comments

Amazon announced that its Luna game streaming service is now available, as is the web-based client for iPhone and iPad.

“The team has been hard at work building Luna and … we’ve been overwhelmed by the response,” Amazon’s Marc Whitten writes in the announcement post. “We’ve received hundreds of thousands of requests for early access, and starting today, we will begin granting invitations to a small set of customers in the U.S. to join us and help shape the future of gaming on Luna.”

Amazon Luna is available in Early Access on Amazon Fire TVs, Windows PCs, Macs, and, thanks to some web app shenanigans, on iPhone and iPad, too. Amazon says that support for Android is coming soon. The service will cost $5.99 per month during the preview—I assume it will be $9.99 after that, though one wonders about deals for Prime customers—and it launches with 50 games.

Luna Early Access members can use the service with any Bluetooth gaming controller that is compatible with the device they’re using. But they can also buy a Luna Controller for $49.99, which, similar to Google’s Stadia controller, can take advantage of unique “Cloud Direct” technology that offers lower latency gaming and Alexa voice control.

“We are starting with a small set of first customers on the service and we’ll continue to invite more players to join us over the coming months,” Whitten adds. “We appreciate your patience.”

Obviously, many of us here in Xbox land are curious about the performance and capability of the web app for iPhone and iPad, since that’s how Microsoft intends to bring Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with Game Streaming to those platforms. The Verge notes that web app streaming works like any other iOS/iPadOS app and is “good enough” for most uses. Apparently, even the native apps are pretty bare-bones at this time.

I’ll sign-up for Luna as soon as it’s offered to find out more.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Amazon Luna is Now Available in Early Access”

  1. Vladimir Carli

    how many years will it take for Microsoft to release xCloud working on a browser and especially safari?

  2. ghostrider

    "Hundreds of thousands of requests for early access". Mmm. Me thinks not.

    • mog0

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Given the number of customers Amazon have, I have little doubt about this; however how many of those would actually sign up when they see the cost / game availability is a different matter.

    • crunchyfrog

      In reply to ghostrider: Not surprised. They launched a massive email campaign with lots of flashy graphics to sell it early. I even requested it even though I have little interest in it.

  3. rm

    Is Tick Tack Toe one of the games? Or are these AAA games?

  4. jtdennis

    Tried the Contra collection on my iPad last night, it was laggy and not a good experience. Hopefully that improves.

  5. crunchyfrog

    For some reason (money), Amazon and Facebook keep trying to sell hardware and software instead of just staying in their lane. I signed up for the preview but honestly don't expect much if I even get a chosen.

  6. crunchyfrog

    Anyone wanna make bets how many years Amazon and Google will fiddle with this before hanging it up?

  7. christianwilson

    I think this, much like Stadia, needs to offer some unique experiences for it to be worth it. I don't know how the streaming quality is on Luna or Stadia as I have not tried either one, but that is an issue that will smooth out over time. The challenge for a service like this is that it does not do anything better than what we have today. I do like the idea that I could play a AAA game without having to buy a console or a gaming-class PC, but most people who play those games have the means to play them already. Amazon and Google need good first party games or some decent third-party exclusives (timed or otherwise). Without that, I just don't see a compelling reason to take the risk on either platform yet.

    Amazon may or may not succeed with Luna, but if it does fail, I have no doubt the technology and the lessons learned will go into something else that probably will be successful. I could see Amazon Luna technologies powering dedicated streaming services from other publishers. I don't know if Activision has the infrastructure to build their own cloud gaming platform, but an Activision+ service, powered by Luna, makes a lot of sense.

    I don't want to sound down on this, though. I have been slowly coming around on the idea of game streaming and I'm hoping to see great things from all involved. Game streaming can open the doors to a lot of new (or lapsed) gamers, and that is exciting.