Amazon’s Cloud-based Luna+ Gaming is a Viable Option.
Over the years, Microsoft has done Xbox Cloud Gaming (code named Project xCloud,) Google created Stadia, Nvidia with GeForce Now, and Sony with PlayStation Now. Now, Amazon wants to throw its hat in the ring of cloud based gaming with Luna +.
What is Cloud-based Gaming & Why is it Beneficial?
Cloud-based gaming is the future of gaming. Hopefully, soon players will see one system with cloud-based options from all gaming companies, a joint effort where they can still earn profits for their company, individually. Well, that’s my dream but we aren’t far from it.
Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase games. The benefit, of course, is a varitety of games and easy access to play without download or loading times. The drawback is the possibility of losing games you like when the company takes a game away from being featured. Currently, Luna + features 76 games to choose from with plenty of mainstream favorites.
Luna+ allows for continued play across devices which makes sense since it’s basically cloud based streaming. For instance, a player could play from Amazon and then switch over to PC. Players can shift from different devices like iPhone and PC without having to constantly re-pair the controller which is another benefit.
Requirements for Amazon’s Luna+
Now, that Luna+ has become an appealing option, let’s talk basic requirements needed to enjoy the “system” to its fullest extent. Internet speeds must be at least 10 Mbps for 1080p video quality. Amazon suggests a wireless router with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, though 5 GHz is best. How will this effect internet data? Unlike streaming movies or music, cloud gaming can consume up to 10GB/hr at 1080p.
Luna+ is run like a subscription plan. The basic tier from Amazon is currently available at $6.00 a month. Then, the Ubisoft+ plan can be added for an additional $15 a month, for a total of $21 a month if you want both. Also, it is important to note that the gaming service is in its Beta phase so prices will most likely go up. Additionally, Luna + allows streaming on two devices at a time but Ubisoft only allows one. Something that you should keep in mind.
Luna+ is able to run on Windows 10, MacOS, FireTV, and select Android phones. On iOS devices, playing can be done via the web in Safari with the option of creating a “desktop” shortcut to make a Luna “app” on your home screen. You even can access Luna on any PC you own via the web, as long as you use Chrome.
Amazon’s Luna+ Controller
Amazon’s controller for Luna+ will cost $50 which is the going rate for a quality controller. Luna+ Controller supports Bluetooth and USB for offline play on many devices. However, the Luna+ Controller is not licensed for play on game consoles. The controller has a USB-C port for wired connections for a lag free experieence. Additionally, there is a headphone jack on the bottom for gaming with headphones.
Examining the quality of the Luna+ controller
The weight is what you’d expect for a premium controller. The undersides for the handles contour to fit the hand perfectly and provide a grip that allows for better control. The buttons are plastic feeling and slick but really not a big drawback as the controller hits all the notes for being a really good intuitive design. They have been working on this for quite a while since the release of Amazon TV.
Amazon has managed to produce a quality controller that feels like controllers most people already use. But should you buy it? If this will be the only system you own, then yes. However, if you will use a playstation or Xbox then save some money. As Xbox One controllers, PlayStation 4 controllers, and even standard keyboard and mouse input are supported in Amazon Luna.
Amazon has also included Twitch streams into Luna. When players choose to play a game, streams of people playing the same title will appear. Although, it won’t be from the Luna platform. Unfortunately, as of now, there is currently no way to stream your own game on Luna to Twitch. However, this will probably change as it continues its testing.