Amazon Luna Review: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Luna
Have you heard of the Amazon Luna project? The latter was officially presented on September 24, 2020, and promises to be the future of Gaming. This is in any case what the spokesman of the American giant Amazon seems to think! It is a Cloud Gaming solution that will be fully managed by Amazon and whose performance promises to be simply exceptional.
Focus on Amazon Luna
Amazon Luna should make online gambling easier. Indeed, it will be possible to play very famous video games directly via classic devices. Players won’t even need consoles, it will be enough to have a controller and voila. Amazon’s Cloud Gaming service seems simply revolutionary!
For the moment, it is impossible to access this service because it is only accessible in the United States and Canada. The test phase was launched a few weeks ago, and it seems that the success is already there, even if some technical adjustments still need to be made. For players from the rest of the world, it will take patience…
A complete service
To be able to access Amazon Luna, you will need to subscribe to a subscription. Several options are available, but the price seems to be set at about 25 euros per month, which is still interesting given the content that will be offered. Once the subscription is effective, simply connect to Amazon Luna to play!
This new Cloud Gaming service by Amazon that will allow players to play is still under development, but the advances are real. Let’s hope that the service will soon be available worldwide!
Amazon Luna Review
Complete Test & Opinion
Amazon is getting into online gaming with Luna, its new game streaming service. Luna is currently in an invitation-only early access program, but it’s already very promising. This promise is due to the $49.99 Luna Controller, which uses a separate Wi-Fi connection to reduce a game’s input lag.
It’s technically optional, but between its dedicated Wi-Fi connection and the ability to switch from one Luna-compatible device to another, we consider it a must to get the most out of Luna. In addition, the $5.99 Luna+ subscription currently offers a small library of a few dozen games, including many excellent indie games and a few AAA titles, and they’re all playable as part of the subscription, unlike Google Stadia’s pay-per-view service.
Luna Channels and Prices
Luna is structured with multiple channels, similar to Amazon’s video streaming channels. You subscribe to different channels to access different toy libraries. At launch, Luna is offering the Luna+ channel at $5.99 per month and the Ubisoft+ channel at $14.99 per month, which is separately in beta.
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Luna+ offers dozens of games, including Control, Grid, Sonic Mania, Castlevania and Contra Anniversary Collections, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Amazon has added a few new games to the chain since the launch of the Early Access service, with Wonderful 101: Remastered, Ride 4, and Narita Boy. It’s still not an amazing or consistent library, but there are definitely a few bangers.
Ubisoft+ offers a separate library of the company’s games, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Far Cry 5: Gold Edition, Steep: Gold Edition, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands: Ultimate Edition. Luna+ allows you to stream up to two games at the same time, while Ubisoft+ only allows one. However, Ubisoft+ also allows you to download the PC version of a game through the Ubisoft Connect app. The pricing and structure are closer to those of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which received the editor’s award, than those of Google Stadia, which is certainly welcome; you don’t have to worry about buying individual games for Luna.
Luna’s Game Requirements
Luna works on PC and Mac via standalone or Chrome clients, on Amazon Fire TV devices, and on iPhones and iPads via Safari. There is no Android app, but it is possible to play with Chrome.
Don’t expect 4K and HDR graphics like the ones you can (potentially) get with Google Stadia and Shadow, which received the Editor’s Award. Luna is content with 1080p and 60 frames per second. This shouldn’t be a problem on phones or in web browsers, but some games might not be as sharp as they could be if you’re playing on a Fire TV Stick 4K connected to a 4K TV. Amazon says 4K support is “coming soon” on both channels.
Amazon recommends an internet connection of at least 10Mbps for streaming 1080p games on Luna, and that you need to connect to your Wi-Fi network via 5GHz. A 720p streaming option has been added to Luna since its launch in Early Access, requiring less bandwidth at the price of resolution. My PC has a gigabit FiOS internet connection, but the distance between my computer and the router means I tend to see closer to 250 Mbps at the bottom and top. On my phone, the speed is about 175 Mbps.
Luna Controller Overview
The Luna controller is excellent, it looks a lot like the Pro controller of the Nintendo Switch. It’s a well-built black controller with two offset analog sticks in Xbox style, and A/B/X/Y face buttons arranged according to the Xbox layout. The sticks, front buttons, and triggers are all tight and well done, though the extra shaped directional pad is a bit spongy instead of slamming. The build quality is very similar to that of the Xbox Wireless Controller.
The menu buttons are located around a large Luna button that lights up when the gamepad is in use. A pinhole-shaped microphone sits above the Luna button, while a microphone button is below (so you can use Amazon Alexa with the controller). A headphone jack is on the bottom edge of the controller, just like on an Xbox wireless controller.
The gamepad accepts two AA batteries, and has a USB-C port for wired connections and charging batteries (if rechargeable).
The Luna Controller connects directly to Amazon via its own Wi-Fi connection, which Amazon says reduces latency by 17 to 30 milliseconds. To set up the controller, you need to use the free Luna Controller app, which will guide you to connect it to your Wi-Fi signal.
You can also use the gamepad as a standard Bluetooth controller if you wish. You can also use a compatible Bluetooth controller, such as the DualShock 4 or Xbox Wireless Controller, paired with the device of your choice to play Amazon Luna games without the reduced latency. The service proved responsive with an Xbox wireless controller, but I felt a slightly larger input lag in games than with the Luna controller.
Once set up and connected, you can use the controller to play games on Amazon Luna through any compatible device. Because the controller connects separately to the Internet, you can play instantly on any device, from web browser to Amazon Fire TV, without having to juggle controller connections; Luna detects that your controller is connected to the Internet and immediately sets it up to control the device that streams a game to Luna through your account.
The Gaming Experience
I played Sonic Mania via a web browser using Amazon Luna and was impressed with the results. The controls were very responsive, to the point that I managed to collect two Chaos Emeralds and even beat a Blue Sphere level (and I suck at Blue Sphere). If you had told me that I was playing on local equipment, I would have believed you if it weren’t for a few little snags. From time to time, the game would stutter for a while during a game session, and I would get a message that the network connection was unstable. It was rare, and the game was smooth most of the time.
I also played Yooka-Laylee and Impossible Lair with Luna in a PC web browser and on my iPad. In both cases, Luna performed very well. The 1080p image was clear and sharp, and the controls were very responsive. I also faced occasional stutters in this game, with pop-up alerts about network issues, but they were rare and didn’t disrupt most of the experience.
Finally, I played Control (a great cloud streaming game on Nintendo Switch) on my iPad to see how 3D games feel on Luna. The graphics were consistently crisp and smooth, and the controls felt precise, just like with the other two games. I could easily score headshots on the first enemies with the service weapon, and the maneuver around it felt natural.
Curiously, the game on the Windows client was not as good, as there was much more lag between the inputs. I also had a few issues installing the client on my test PC, but fortunately, both of these issues can be ignored by using Luna in a Chrome tab instead. The interface and performance seem more responsive and easier to use in this form.
A Bright Future
Even as an early access service, Amazon Luna is an impressive streaming gaming platform. The Luna controller’s separate Wi-Fi connection makes it feel like you’re playing on local hardware more than any other cloud gaming service we’ve tried, and the gamepad is excellent. The channel-based pricing structure offers some flexibility, with the $6 Luna+ channel being a good deal for the handful of great games it delivers. We’ll see how Luna evolves from its invitation-only early access phase to a full-service, but for now, it’s a great way to play games on your Fire TV, iOS device, or web browser. The Luna controller, worth 50 euros, is essential to play on Luna, both for its low input latency and for its seamless passage from one device to another. It also acts as a Bluetooth gamepad.
For direct support for Android through an app and a wider selection of games (especially if you have an Xbox or Windows 10 gaming PC), you may also want to consider getting the Editor’s Choice Award-winning Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It allows you to play hundreds of games online, as well as downloadable games for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 10. Of course, you can also get google stadia, although even a year after its launch, the choices are rather meager and you have to buy games individually outside of the handful of games included in Stadia Pro.
- Very low latency in most cases
- Good overall performance
- The Luna+ channel at a reasonable price
- Works well in web browsers
Conclusion of our Opinion
Amazon’s Luna game streaming service is still in its infancy, but it’s a responsive and cost-effective way to play games — if you buy the much-needed gamepad.
Originally published at Entrepreneur News and Startup Guide.