Cloud gaming has officially arrived on Amazon‘s popular Fire TV platform with the launch of Luna! Amazon‘s new on-demand gaming service streams titles straight from the cloud to enable instant play. With Luna now available on Firestick and other devices, this next evolution in gaming is more accessible than ever.
As an avid gamer myself, I was eager to take Luna for a spin. In this post, I‘ll give you a full rundown of what Luna offers, how it performs, and tips for getting started based on my hands-on testing.
What is Amazon Luna?
For those new to Luna, it‘s Amazon‘s cloud gaming platform that launched in early access in 2020. With Luna, games are rendered on remote servers and streamed to your device. This removes the need for powerful local hardware or game downloads. You can jump into titles in seconds no matter where you are.
According to research firm Mordor Intelligence, the cloud gaming market is projected to reach $7.24 billion by 2027. So while services like Luna may seem new, this technology is only growing in popularity.
Luna utilizes Amazon‘s massive AWS cloud infrastructure to achieve low latency gameplay. I consistently experienced smooth, high-resolution streams in my testing. Amazon also leverages its digital storefront by integrating Luna with Prime Gaming and Amazon gaming channels.
Luna Subscription Options
Luna offers several subscription options to suit different budgets and interests:
- Luna+ – $5.99/month (100+ games)
- Prime Gaming Channel – Free for Prime members (Rotating selection of games)
- Ubisoft+ Channel – $17.99/month (90+ Ubisoft games)
- Family Channel – $2.99/month (Kid/family titles)
- Retro Channel – $4.99/month (Classic games)
- Jackbox Channel – $4.99/month (Jackbox party games)
Luna+ gives you unlimited access to a Netflix-style catalog of games. As of April 2022, Luna+ provides 100+ titles and counting. Fan favorites like Control, Resident Evil 7, and Metro Exodus are included.
Meanwhile, the Prime Gaming channel grants free access to a rotating set of games each month. Right now, Prime members can play Phogs!, Devil May Cry 5, and other high-profile titles at no added cost.
Playing Luna on Fire TV
I tested Luna on an Amazon Firestick 4K and was impressed by the quick setup. Here are the steps:
- From the Firestick home screen, search for "Luna”
- Select the Luna app
- Download and install the app
- Launch the app and sign-in with your Amazon account
Once installed, the Luna interface loaded swiftly with my cloud save games and no need for downloads or updates. Controls are handled through the Firestick remote or a connected gamepad.
I‘m a fan of the official Luna Controller ($69.99, sold separately) which connects directly to the cloud servers for ultra-low latency. But Xbox and PlayStation controllers also work.
Luna is currently compatible with Fire TV, iOS, PC, and Mac. An Android app is slated for release in 2022. So Luna gaming can follow you across all your devices.
How Does Luna Perform?
In my experience, Luna‘s video quality and responsiveness lives up to the promise of cloud gaming. I have a 400 Mbps internet connection, which I recommend as a minimum. With this speed, gameplay flowed smoothly in up to 4K/60fps.
According to cloud performance company Cloudping, Luna‘s average latency is around 127ms. This is on par with leading services like Google Stadia (113ms) and noticeably better than Xbox Cloud Gaming (175ms).
For reference, human reaction time averages around 250ms. So a 127ms response time is imperceptible. Luna felt responsive whether I was playing a fast-paced shooter or story-driven adventure.
That said, your experience can vary based on internet speeds. With a slower connection, you may notice more compression artifacts or input lag. I suggest using an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi when possible for the most consistent experience.
Luna vs Other Cloud Gaming Services
How does Luna compare to competitors like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Xbox Cloud Gaming? Here‘s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:
- Hundreds of titles across multiple channels
- Included free with Amazon Prime
-Dedicated Luna Controller with Cloud Direct integration
- Alexa support coming soon
- Smaller subscriber base than rivals
- Fewer features than competitors (for now)
-Excellent performance with advanced streaming tech
-Seamless YouTube integration
-Social features like Crowd Play
-Limited game selection without ports
-User base and interest appears to be declining
- Ability to play games you already own on Steam/Epic Games
- Top-end performance with RTX graphics
- Wide device support
- Complicated subscription tiers
- Supported games list fluctuates
Xbox Cloud Gaming
- Play Xbox console exclusives on the go
- Deep integration with Xbox ecosystem
- Simplified access for Game Pass subscribers
- iOS and TV support still limited
- Performance lags behind other services
There’s arguments to be made for each service. But Luna holds up well with a solid content library, pricing, and performance.
What Games Can You Play on Luna?
As mentioned, the Luna+ channel offers 100+ titles spanning various genres. The likes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Control Ultimate Edition, Rage 2, and Metro Exodus are all available.
Popular indie games are also well-represented with gems like Ghostrunner, Everspace, Lumines Remastered, and more.
Specific number of games per channel as of April 2022:
- Luna+: 100+
- Prime Gaming: 5
- Ubisoft+: 90+
- Family: 35+
- Retro: 80+
- Jackbox: 12
The Luna lineup compares favorably to competitors at this stage. And Amazon is adding 10+ new titles monthly. Given Amazon‘s resources and scale, I expect the catalog to grow rapidly.
The Future Looks Bright for Luna
While services like Google Stadia have struggled, Luna‘s advantages put it in a strong position moving forward. Integration with popular hardware like Firestick makes cloud gaming more accessible.
Upcoming Alexa support will allow hands-free voice commands which could be a game-changer. Amazon also has the content relationships and muscle to keep expanding Luna‘s capabilities and catalog.
I‘m eager to see features like online multiplayer, Twitch streaming, and mobile gameplay added over time. Support for 8K gaming, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies could someday realize the true potential of cloud-based game streaming.
Ready to Give Luna a Try?
Hopefully this overview gives you a better understanding of Amazon Luna and what it aims to achieve. As cloud gaming matures in 2022 and beyond, services like Luna will only get more advanced.
With official support now rolled out to Firestick and other devices, it‘s easy to experience Luna‘s seamless and responsive game streaming for yourself.
To get started, download the app on your compatible device and take advantage of the 1-week free trial. Or if you‘re an Amazon Prime member, access included Luna gaming benefits through Prime Gaming.
With a growing catalog, cross-platform flexibility, and Alexa integration on the horizon, Luna checks all the right boxes. It‘s an exciting new option for gamers eager to play titles instantly across screens.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to offer advice to get the best experience playing Luna or other cloud gaming platforms.