Amazon launches Luna cloud-based video game service

San Francisco (AFP) –


Amazon on Thursday unveiled its Luna streaming video game service, challenging Microsoft and Google in the fast-growing segment.

Gamers in the US were invited to request early access to Luna, which uses a video game controller to connect directly to games hosted at Amazon Web Services datacenters to stream play through Fire TV as well as personal computers.

Luna apps for mobile devices were on their way, according to Amazon, which is pricing the new service at a $6 monthly introductory price.

Luna takes on Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia in the shift to playing video games directly in the cloud.

Google's Stadia cloud gaming service costing $10 monthly, and Microsoft this month made xCloud gaming a free addition, for now, to its Game Pass subscription service at Xbox.

"It's day one for Luna," said Amazon entertainment devices and services vice president Marc Whitten.

"We are excited to work with gamers, streamers, and publishers like Ubisoft and Remedy Entertainment to build a great gaming experience for everyone."

Amazon also announced a gaming channel at Luna devoted Ubisoft, with subscribers getting access to the French video game giant's hit titles such as Assassins Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.

Amazon planned to add more channels to Luna, offering access to games from more publishers.

"We're proud to be working alongside Amazon on Luna, utilizing the power of cloud gaming to provide our players with another way to access our games, wherever they are," said Ubisoft senior vice president of partnerships Chris Early.

"Ubisoft's channel on Luna will allow players to experience our new releases along with many of our catalog games, while enjoying player-friendly features like Alexa and Twitch integrations."

Streaming of gameplay at Amazon's popular Twitch platform will be available at Luna, according to the Seattle-based internet colossus.

Video game play watch as spectator sport was booming even before the pandemic gave people hunkered down at home more time and interest in turning into such entertainment.

Luna is built on Amazon's muscular AWS infrastructure for hosting computing power in the cloud, playing into its strength as a leading force in that market.

"As new features and content are added for Luna customers, the backend tech that's driving it all will also be frequently refreshed," Amazon promised.