Amazon just unveiled its brand new cloud gaming platform, Amazon Luna, and it already sounds like a better deal than Google Stadia. In a world where console gaming still dominates, cloud-based platforms are going to need to be both convenient and more affordable to succeed, and that’s exactly what Amazon Luna is shooting for.
Luna’s biggest advantage is the fact that it offers access to hundreds of games under a $5.99 per month subscription fee, where Stadia’s $10 per month Stadia Pro service only offers a fraction of that number while still charging you full price for most AAA titles. With Luna, you don’t have to pay for games on top of the subscription – the subscription includes them.
Luna will be free to download, but for $5.99 a month players will be able to subscribe to Amazon’s Luna+ channel, which will grant you unlimited access to over one hundred games. This means that the moment you sign up, you can instantly play games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Control, Metro Exodus, Sonic Mania Plus, and dozens more.
Separate publishers will be launching their own Luna channels as well, with Ubisoft lined up to be the first. You’ll have to pay an additional subscription fee, but you’ll have instant access to Far Cry 7, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Watch Dogs: Legion on their release days. Even if Ubisoft’s channel runs you $20 a month, all three of those games will cost everyone else $180 to pick up.
You’ll be able to get Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on Google Stadia too, but it’s going to cost you the full $59.99, even if you’ve signed up for the $10 per month Stadia Pro. Stadia has often charged full price for AAA games when they’ve been discounted at other retailers too. If this model continues, Google just won’t be able to compete.
Amazon Luna seems to offer the catalogue and AAA appeal of Microsoft’s Game Pass service with the versatility and convenience of Stadia’s cloud-based structure. There’s no telling whether or not the platform will be successful for certain, but Luna brings the “Netflix for video games” appeal better than anything else we’ve seen so far.
If you’re a US resident, you can apply for Amazon Luna’s early access program here. An official launch date hasn’t been announced yet, but it’ll likely come in time for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in November. We still may be a while away from cloud-based gaming finding some serious relevance, but Amazon Luna just might get us there sooner rather than later.
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