Announced at Amazon’s hardware-dominated September 2020 event, Luna is the company’s new cloud gaming platform.
It wasn’t a huge surprise – there had long been rumours about the retail giant releasing a service to compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Nvidia.
Cloud gaming still plays second fiddle to PC and console gaming, but Amazon is one of a growing number of companies trying to change that. Here’s everything you need to know about Luna so far.
When was Amazon Luna released?
Luna was officially unveiled at Amazon’s event on 24 September 2020, although the company didn’t say when the service will be widely available. We’re still not sure when that will be, although an Amazon blog post from February 2021 revealed that the service will available invite-free for the first time.
However, you still need a compatible Fire TV device to get it working. Amazon is now opening up Luna registrations to new users during its Prime Day sales event, where you can start playing via Windows, Mac and via the web on iOS devices and some Android phones.
However, it’s not clear when registrations will be available after 22 June, or when the service will officially launch outside the US.
How much does Amazon Luna cost?
Luna is available for an “introductory price” of US$5.99 a month during the early access phase. That continues throughout the Prime Day promotion, and appears to be the regular price for now. However a 7-day free trial is also now available.
Existing Luna members can then sign up for a beta channel of Ubisoft Plus. This costs an additional $14.99 per month, but gets you access to high-profile titles like Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
This allows you to play up to two games simultaneously at up to 4K/60fps, although the latter is only be available on “select titles”.
The Luna Controller, designed to be used alongside the service, is also now available for everyone in the US to buy. It currently costs $69.99, but is expected to be discounted by 30% for Prime Day.
How to join Luna early access
There’s no word yet from Amazon on how long the early access period will last, or when it will roll out to additional countries. Not everyone who registers will be given access, so there’s an element of luck at play too.
Those included in early access will be able to play the Luna Plus Game Channel and its 50-game library. We know that the Ubisoft channel will also be included in early access, featuring Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but it isn’t available yet, and will incur an additional charge on top of the $6 monthly subscription.
What will I need to play Amazon Luna?
A key selling point of Luna is the ability to “play on the devices you already own”. So far, the service is available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, Android (though not all devices), and iOS – the latter two via a web app. This is part of the ongoing early access period, with interested US customers signing up on the Amazon website and then being invited to play.
However, an Amazon blog post from February 2021 announced that selected Fire TV devices would be the first to have access to Luna invite-free:
- Fire TV Stick Lite
- Fire TV Stick (2nd & 3rd generation)
- Fire TV Stick 4K
- Fire TV (3rd generation)
- Fire TV Cube
- Toshiba Fire TV Edition
- Insignia Fire TV Edition
On the official support page, Amazon is encouraging users to make sure their devices are updated to the latest version of Fire OS.
All other devices are still in early access. Android support is limited to the following devices at the time of writing, though Amazon intends to widen support as early access continues:
- Pixel 4XL, 4A, 4A 5G, 5
- Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Note 10, Note 10 Plus, S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra
- OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, 7 Pro 5G, 8, 8 Pro, Nord, 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G
You’ll also need version 86 or later of the Chrome web browser installed on your phone.
PCs and laptops require at least version 83 of the desktop version, with Luna not available on the Mac version of Safari. All Windows 10 devices with DirectX 11 are supported, while you’ll need a Mac from 2014 or later running at least macOS High Sierra.
On the iPhone and iPad, you do need to use Safari on a device running iOS 14.
However, there’s is one requirement regardless of which device you’re playing on. You’ll need at least a 10Mbps internet connection, although Amazon recommends using an Ethernet cable or 5GHz Wi-Fi where possible.
While you can play Luna with a keyboard and mouse or any Bluetooth controller, Amazon is encouraging you to pick up the new Luna controller. It looks almost identical to the one you’ll find on Xbox, and will likely provide a similar experience. However, the Luna Controller has extra tricks up its sleeve: Alexa integration and the ability to seamlessly move between devices.
Amazon Luna games
Amazon says that there will be over 100 games available to play on Luna, with launch titles including the following:
- Resident Evil 7
- Panzer Dragoon
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- The Surge 2
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
If none of those take your fancy, the company says more games will be added “over time”. These will include Amazon Game Studios’ MMORPG New World, which is expected in Spring 2021.
Amazon has also announced a partnership with Ubisoft which will see a dedicated “channel” available via Luna. The company adds that “players who subscribe to this channel will have access to their favorite Ubisoft titles in up to 4K resolution, mobile gameplay, and access to new titles when the channel launches”. This means that AAA titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be available on Luna as soon as they’re released, and Amazon says there are more titles to come.
Alongside the lineup of games is integration with Twitch, the gaming-focused streaming service owned by Amazon. Within the Luna “experience”, players will see the option to watch a relevant Twitch stream, while there will also be the ability to start playing directly within the Twitch app.
Amazon has also revealed the Netflix-style user interface for Luna, which includes the aforementioned Twitch streams as well as relevant trailers and screenshots.
We’ll update this article as soon as we know more about Luna. In the meantime, check out our round-up of the best game streaming services to see what it’s up against.