The cloud gaming platform, announced three years ago, allows users to play online without the need for special hardware such as a console.
Available in the United States from 2022, “Luna,” Amazon’s cloud gaming service, is now available in France. It allows users to play online without the need for specific hardware like a console or lengthy downloads. A sort of variation on the platform model like Netflix, but a video game version.
The Luna catalog contains a number of games ranging from Triple-A blockbusters (such as Resident Evil 2) to independent or retro games. To play, you need to buy games directly on the platform or subscribe to various subscriptions that give access to a predefined game library. The service offers 3 options:
- Luna+ (€9.99 per month, including 7 days free trial): gives access to a large collection of games, between adventure, action or horror, including popular titles like Spongebob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Or Batman: Arkham Knight.
- Ubisoft+ (€17.99 per month): The Ubisoft service lets you play dozens of games from the publisher, including the latest titles like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and the next match Avatar: The Borderlands of Pandoraafter publication on December 7, 2023.
- Jackbox Games (€4.99 per month): offers a smaller library of virtual board games.
Amazon Prime subscribers can play today Fortnite, Trackmania and a rotating selection of games for free, but also link your Ubisoft account to play games from their library.
Controller dedicated to Luna
Several controllers are compatible with the e-commerce giant’s service, including those for PS4 and Xbox consoles, in addition to the classic keyboard and mouse combination. But Amazon also sells its own Luna controller, specifically designed for its service. It’s available for a starting price of €39.99 instead of €69.99 until November 27, and connects directly to Luna’s cloud servers via Wi-Fi.
“With Cloud Direct technology, it is possible to switch from one compatible display to another without the need for additional pairing or configuration”, Amazon explains in a press release. Among the devices compatible with the Luna platform: traditional PCs, Macs, TVs and smartphones of all kinds.
Expected arrival in the competitive cloud gaming market
Amazon’s cloud gaming is entering this already highly competitive market with existing initiatives of GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming and PS Plus Premium. Google also attempted to launch its own cloud gaming service, Stadia, in 2019.
But the Google-owned platform shut down last January due to a lack of users. The service has been plagued by several strategic mistakes, including its economic model focused on buying video games individually. Luna and other video game streaming services instead offer a catalog of titles to browse for a monthly subscription fee. After this failure, Google shifted the focus of its video games to YouTube and its “Playables”.
Luna’s launch in France comes at a time when Amazon’s video game division has been weakened. On November 13, the online retail giant laid off 180 additional employees in its video game division, after already cutting about a hundred jobs in April. And with good reason, the giant says it wants to refocus its efforts around Prime Gaming. With that in mind, he ended support for Twitch’s Crown Channel and disbanded the Game Growth team that helped publishers reach new audiences.