Amazon is getting into gaming. During Amazon’s big device announcement event on Thursday, the internet giant unveiled Luna, its cloud-based video game streaming service for Fire TV, phones, tablets and computers that rivals Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia.
A “Luna Plus” subscription will cost $5.99 per month as part of an invite-only early access program. A controller designed for the service will also be sold, with “early access” pricing of $50, though gamers will also be able to use an Xbox One or PlayStation DualShock 4 controller, as well as a mouse and keyboard to play.
Running on Amazon’s AWS servers, games will stream at up to 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second at launch (with 4K support teased as “coming soon”), though a full list of titles wasn’t immediately available. The company says that games available in the early access period will include Control, Resident Evil 7, GRID, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Ubisoft will be among the early notable publishers on the platform, including bringing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to Luna, although no timeline was given for when its games would arrive beyond, again, “coming soon.”
Twitch, the popular game-focused video streaming website that Amazon bought in 2014, will be integrated into Luna to allow streamers to broadcast while playing. Amazon says that those watching Twitch streams who also subscribe to its service will be able to go right “from watching Twitch to instantly playing on Luna.”
Amazon recommends a minimum internet connection speed of 10Mbps for streaming games on Luna, with 35Mbps listed as the requirement for playing in 4K.
The company says that Luna will be available on Fire TV, Mac and PC, as well as through “web apps” for iPhone and iPad so long as those devices are running iOS 14. The use of web apps seems to be how Amazon is getting around Apple’s App Store restrictions, which have previously blocked Microsoft from offering its xCloud gaming service for iPhone and iPad users. Google’s Android is not listed as a launch platform but is “coming soon.”
No exact release date was given for Luna, but those interested can request an early access invitation on Amazon’s website.
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