Amazon Luna is promising

Amazon Luna is promising: Amazon’s cloud gaming service does well with the basics but needs work with the finer details.

Amazon Luna

Amazon Luna has all the basics of cloud gaming down while also offering a polished co-op gaming feature in Luna Couch. The official controller is not too bad, either, although overpriced. The service’s weak point is its poor user experience which is needlessly confusing. If Amazon can fix these issues, Luna could be a great competitor to Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming when it finally goes global.

Amazon Luna is promising, but not among the cloud gaming stars quite yet

For years now, we’ve heard it over and over again: cloud gaming is the future. If it is, it was only a matter of time before cloud tech pioneer Amazon got into the game, and now it has with Amazon Luna. Essentially, it’s Amazon’s answer to Google Stadia but with some elements of Xbox Game Pass, Ultimate threw in. We got the chance to test out Luna and the Luna controller and in this Amazon Luna review, we’ll let you know all about what it’s like to use the service in its current state.

Amazon Luna Review: A Video Game Streaming Service With More Potential Than Features

What you need to know about Amazon Luna

Luna consists of one physical product — the Luna controller — and several channels of premium subscriptions for a collection of games. At the bottom, you have Prime Gaming, which allows folks with an Amazon Prime membership to play a limited selection of rotating games for free. Amazon Luna Plus gives you access to many more games for an additional monthly fee. Along with this, there are other curated collections of categorized games each with its own monthly fee. At the top end here, you’ll find Ubisoft Plus, which gives you access to a slew of Ubisoft games.

Amazon Luna is promising, but not among the cloud gaming stars quite yet

Whichever channel (or channels) you choose, you’ll get immediate access to that entire collection. In other words, this is not like Google Stadia Pro in which you get some free games and then buy others a la carte. Instead, this is more like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in that you pay one fee and can access any games within your allotted collection. We should note here that Luna is currently only available in the US for the time being.

For a monthly fee, you can play any of the Luna titles within subscribed channels as much as you want.

While the Luna controller makes things much easier and smoother, you do not need to buy one to enjoy Amazon Luna. Your smartphone can act as a touch controller or you can use an Xbox controller, a PlayStation controller, or a mouse/keyboard. The main benefit of using the official Luna controller is reduced latency, which Amazon claims can cut up to 30ms when compared to a standard Bluetooth connection. Luna achieves this by connecting the controller to Wi-Fi instead of your streaming device, which is the same methodology employed by the Stadia controller.

Check out: What is cloud gaming?

Amazon Luna review: Not quite on cloud nine yet

There’s also a feature called Luna Couch that enables you to play certain local co-op games with friends around the country. Your friends do not need to be Luna subscribers to play with you, although they do need to live in the continental United States and have an Amazon account (at least for now).

Finally, Luna also incorporates Twitch, which makes sense considering it is an Amazon property. This includes the ability to chat with friends and broadcast your gameplay.

 

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