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Everything We Know About Amazon's Luna So Far

The gaming industry has long anticipated the arrival of cloud services as a viable alternative to the way players consume games. With the reveal of Amazon Luna on Sept. 24, 2020, the world may have moved one step closer to a cloud-based future.

This type of games distribution is far from tried and true. The cloud gaming services available — Google Stadia, Microsoft Game Pass and Nvidia's GeForce Now among them — all offer different content and business models, and aren't universally successful. Luna's debut comes at a time when it could make a real impact on the industry; Amazon's influence could help determine what role cloud gaming will hold in the video game ecosystem as it prepares to move to a new console generation.

Of course, it could also flop, following in the potential footsteps of Stadia and making it even harder for other companies to succeed in an area that has left many gamers and companies skeptical. Here's what we know about Luna so far.

How to access Amazon Luna

Although some platforms allow you to purchase titles online and access them through the cloud, Luna appears to offer games using a subscription system modeled after cable services, or perhaps Amazon Video, with plenty of included content for a monthly fee. Through those channels, you can access any games within that library at any time for as long as you like. However, certain channels may be offered at a premium.

Early access users can get to Luna through apps available on PCs, Macs, and Fire TV. If you prefer accessing games on your phone, Luna is available via apps for iPhone and iPad. Android support is on the way, and Luna is also available through the Chrome web browser for PCs and Macs and the Safari web browser for iOS devices.

Because games stream directly to your device from Amazon's dedicated game servers, you supposedly won't see long download times. However, if you want to play with even less roundtrip latency, early access users can purchase Amazon's Luna Controller for $49.99. It is designed specifically for the service and Alexa-equipped to boot. Luna will also play nicely with Twitch. You can watch Twitch streams inside Luna and instantly start playing Luna games from Twitch. Since Amazon owns Twitch, this is hardly a surprise.

Amazon Luna channels

Amazon's initial announcement included two channels. Luna+ will start with games like Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, The Surge 2, The Impossible Lair, Yooka-Laylee, Iconoclasts, GRID, ABZU, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and will feature a growing list of titles. This channel costs $5.99 during early access, but that's likely to change when Luna officially debuts.

The other announced channel comes from Ubisoft. Ubisoft titles will offer up to 4K resolution and plenty of ultimate editions of company favorites, complete with DLC. New titles like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be available via Luna the same day they launch in stores. Pricing has not been announced for Ubisoft's channel yet.

Luna business development manager Lisa Schwenke told Engadget that each of these channels will offer about 50 games apiece initially. Amazon says numerous other game channels like these are currently in development. The company hasn't set a launch date for Luna, but is offering early access to this library of games by invitation only. To get yours, you can fill out a short survey and wait to see if you're accepted.