Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will sell you just about anything these days. Groceries. Post-it Notes. Spin bikes. Rechargeable batteries. Metal shredder claws. Lifelike inflatable elephants. Nicolas Cage pillows.
So it’s really not much of a surprise that the megacap will now also pitch a cloud video game service.
Others have dabbled in this space before, including most notably Google with Stadia.
Amazon calls its cloud gaming platform Luna. It costs $9.99 per month and is available everywhere across the U.S. Previously, it was in limited access, presumably for testing and managing the scale out.
You can run Luna on a variety of devices including: Amazon Fire TV; PC; Mac; Android; and iOS.
There’s a variety of controllers you can use to play games including ones that look like ones you’d find on a Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox. Note that you can even use your existing PS4 or Xbox One controllers to play Luna games.
Reminiscent of how Amazon runs its Prime Video service by offering various genre-based channels (Shudder, Mobi, etc.) you can also subscribe to sub-channels on Luna. At launch these include The Retro, Jackbox Games, Family and Ubisoft Plus. So you can custom tailor the content to your gaming desires.
Amazon Prime subscribers get access to a free Prime Gaming Channel. There’s a mix of marquee and lesser known titles here including:
- Devil May Cry 5
- System Redux
Among others. These games will rotate monthly.
Landing page for Devil May Cry 5 on Amazon Luna:
In my brief testing I found that Luna even performed well in a plain old Chrome web browser tab. Using a mouse and keyboard I was able to play Devil May Cry 5 without any additional hardware needed on my somewhat dated Windows PC. Sure, serious gamers will recoil in disgust. Latency! Fair enough. But for casual gamers and those interested in poking around here and there, it’s an interesting and simple way to get on board — especially if you’re an existing Prime customer, requiring no additional subscription or fees.
Given how much the cloud rules our lives these days it’s not completely unexpected that games would go there too. By leveraging massive off-premise processing power one nice thing here is that we don’t require much processing power to do the heavy lifting. Hence, we can easily run intensive games on our iPhones or Androids without much problem. Not having to worry about loud fan noise, electricity draw and even making space available for a physical console are also nice perks of the cloud gaming market — which also includes heavyweights such as Twitch (also owned by Amazon) and Steam.