Amazon Luna cloud gaming launches early access: Should you care?

Amazon Luna
(Image credit: Amazon)

Last month, Amazon announced that it would be launching its own cloud-gaming service called Luna. While cloud gaming is an increasingly crowded market with Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and others, none of the current players have claimed an insurmountable lead...yet.

Luna has now officially launched in limited "early access" for some users who signed up when the service was first announced. With a current library of 50 games, it's not a threat to xCloud or others quite yet, but it's a booming start compared to the 12 games that Stadia offered at launch (via Android Authority).

Luna has, at least, a couple of things going for it including both Amazon's massive cloud expertise with AWS and its tendrils in the gaming world already with Twitch. We'll need to see how well it manages to leverage these advantages as it opens the service up to more users, but for now, here's a look at what you need to know about Amazon Luna.

What is Amazon Luna?

Luna is Amazon's take on the new, or at least surging, cloud-game streaming service market that allows you to play high-end games without high-end hardware. Particularly as the PS5 and Xbox Series X launches draw close, the appeal is that you just pay a monthly subscription fee and basically don't have any upfront cost.

Now there are some things that you do need, the first of which is a fast internet connection. Amazon recommends that you have at least 10Mbps for 1080p gaming and 35Mbps for 4K gaming. It goes without saying that the faster your network, the better your performance is going to be. 

At launch, the Luna app is available for Windows 10 PCs, MacBooks running macOS 10.13 and above, as well as FireTV devices (Fire TV Stick - 2nd gen, Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube - 2nd gen). You may also choose to use the Chrome browser on PC or Mac and the Safari browser on iPhone or iPad.

While there is a dedicated Luna Controller available, the service also supports the Xbox One controller, DualShock 4 controller, and a standard keyboard and mouse.

How much does Amazon Luna cost?

The basic service during the early access period is $5.99 a month and it supports two devices with 1080p gaming at 60 fps with 4K still "coming soon for select titles." There is no word yet on what pricing will look like following the early access period.

Additionally, channels will be coming later that allow you to subscribe to your favorite game publishers. The Ubisoft channel is the first and only channel to be announced so far. This will only be available on a single device at a time at up to 4K resolutions and will include new and older hits along with the ultimate editions of select games. Again, no word on added cost for channels, but Ubisoft's will include some of its biggest upcoming titles, like Assassins' Creed ValhallaFar Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising

What games are available on Luna?

Amazon claims it will have over 100 games available when Luna is ready to launch in full, but in "early access" there are about 50 games available with some overlap with Stadia and others.

The below table shows the games currently available on the service.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AbzuIndivisibleSteamworld Dig 2
AO Tennis 2Infinite MinigolfSteamworld Heist
Atomik: RunGunJumpGunKen Follet's The Pillars of the EarthSteamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
BlasphemousLumines RemasteredTacoma
BloodstainedMetro ExodusTangledeep
Brothers: A Tale of Two SonsObductionTrails of Cold Steel 3
Contra CollectionOvercooked! 2The Mummy Demastered
ControlR-Type Dimensions EXThe Sexy Brutale
Cook Serve Delicious 3RedoutThe Surge
Deponia DoomsdayRez InfiniteThe Surge 2
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New EyesRimeVictor Vran
Edna & Harvey: The BreakoutRiver City GirlsWonderboy
CuriShadow TacticsYoku's Island Express
Ghost of a TaleShantae and the Pirate's CurseYooka-Laylee
GridShantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate EditionYooka-Laylee Impossible Lair
Hard ResetSonic ManiaYs VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
IconoclastsSteamworld DigRow 16 - Cell 2

Does Luna integrate with Twitch?

Yes, although again, not all features are going to be available during the early access or, at least, right away. Within Luna, you can watch Twitch streams of Luna games and eventually be able to instantly jump into playing a Luna game that you are watching on Twitch.

Amazon Luna

(Image credit: Amazon)

When is Luna going to be open to everyone?

There is no word yet on wider availability from Amazon, so at the moment, if you are interested, your best bet is to sign up for early access.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.