This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Amazon has announced its rumored proprietary gaming service, Luna. Amazon's Luna is a monthly subscription-based + cloud streaming style game service.
By running high-end games on Amazon's flagship AWS cloud and streaming the results as video to a PC or Mac, iPhone or iPad, or even a TV with a Fire TV stick connected, users can play dozens of the latest games, including Control, without the need to buy a dedicated console or gaming PC.
So it's one of the streaming game services that companies are focusing on, like Google's Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud (Xbox Game Pass streaming).
One of the unique aspects of Amazon is its partnership with Twitch, one of the largest video game streaming services owned by Amazon. If you like the game video streaming, you can play it with one click.
(Google also talked about the cooperation with YouTube from the time of Stadia's announcement, but it has not been able to offer it as a normal service.)
Luna can be played with a standard browser or off-the-shelf game controller, eliminating the need for dedicated hardware, but it also offers an optional controller to improve latency, an issue in cloud gaming.
The Luna controller improves responsiveness by delivering input signals directly to the Amazon cloud via WiFi instead of connecting to your phone, PC, or Fire device via Bluetooth.
It works the same way as Google's Stadia controller. According to Amazon, you can expect a latency reduction of 20 to 30ms by using a dedicated controller.
The key network bandwidth requirements for cloud streaming games are 10 Mbps for Full HD and 35 Mbps for 4K; you need a fast line.
The service is subscription-based and is available for $5.99 per month for an early access period. There are over 50 games to play for this price.
In addition to this, you can subscribe to additional "channels" for specific manufacturers or specific genres to play more games. It's just like adding specialty channels on Amazon Prime Video to add more content.
The additional channel is currently announced as Ubisoft, and if you subscribe, you'll be able to play the latest Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and more at launch. The price of the Ubisoft channel is still unknown.
According to Amazon, the basic subscription Luna+ and Ubisoft Channel are expected to have a combined total of about 100 games to play during early access.
Interestingly, Luna's mobile support is only available on iOS devices, and currently it's not yet playable on Android.
The principal feature of a cloud game is that it can be played on any device, but problems have surfaced when it is offered as a smartphone app that does not match app distribution policies, such as the App Store, that prevent it from being deployed.
The issue of this streaming and App Store agreement is claimed by Apple as a measure to protect the safety of its users, but on the other hand, there is criticism that the company may be abusing its dominant position as a store monopoly to arbitrarily favor only certain parties, thereby hindering fair competition and hurting the interests of consumers.
It has also been suggested that Amazon's ability to sell digital content directly within the iOS app, which its competitors are not allowed to do, may be a special treatment due to its relationship with Apple.
In this context, it's fishy that Amazon is able to offer streaming games on iOS while Microsoft was rejected. It raises suspicions that this is a special treatment in exchange for selling Apple products on Amazon, but Amazon says this is accomplished by offering the Luna client as a PWA for web apps, not through the App Store. Indeed, if it's on the web, there's no Apple review or payment bindings.
Amazon Luna will be launched as a US-only Early Access service starting this October.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.