Economy

Amazon to stream games to TV, phone – The Punch

Amazon has announced Luna, a cloud gaming platform similar to Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia.

Luna will be launched in October, exclusively in the US initially, priced at an “introductory” price of $5.99 per month, according to independent.co.uk.

The platform will be supported by Amazon Web Services, letting users stream games to Mac, PC, Fire TV, iPhone and iPad devices.

Notably, Android devices are omitted from that list – but the company says support will be available in the coming weeks.

However, while Luna will be available on Apple devices, it is not native to the operating system.

It is a browser-based application that looks like an iOS app – known as ‘progressive web apps’.

“Just to be super transparent, on iOS, it is through the browser; so it’s not a native app in the App Store,” Luna Head, Marc Whitten, said.

Games can be played using a specific Luna controller, as well as the Xbox One and DualShock 4 controller, or a keyboard and mouse.

Unfortunately, it is not licensed for play on game consoles.

It is unclear whether Luna will also be able to be played with the upcoming controllers for the Xbox Series X or the PS5. The Independent has reached out to Amazon for clarification.

Over 100 games are set to be available at launch, including Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee, GRID, Abzu, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and more.

Amazon has also partnered with Ubisoft to give subscribers access to the game publisher’s titles, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising, in 4K resolution.

Most games, however, will be 1080p at a 60fps (frames-per-second) rate.

The Ubisoft channel acts as a separate subscription channel to the main Luna subscription; Luna lets users stream on two devices simultaneously, while the Ubisoft channel only allows one.

“You’ll see other channels over time,” Whitten said, but did not say how much the channel would cost.

“I don’t buy into the idea that there is one model. Things like Luna help publishers broaden access to games,” he added.

Luna will be able to integrate with Twitch, which is also owned by Amazon.

“Inside the Luna experience, players will see Twitch streams for games in the service, and from Twitch, they’ll be able to instantly start playing Luna games,” Amazon said in its press release.

Luna is also able to work with Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.

The “Luna Controller is Alexa-enabled and connects directly to the cloud to effortlessly control your game,” Amazon said.

“Because the Luna Controller connects directly to cloud servers, players can easily switch between screens — such as Fire TV to mobile phone — without additional pairing or configuration changes. Luna Controller is available at an introductory price of $49.99 during the early access period.”

As well as Luna, Amazon also announced new Echo devices that follow the user around, as well as a surveillance drone which flies inside the house.

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