Now Anybody In The US Can Try Amazon Luna Cloud Gaming

Amazon has announced that gamers living in the mainland United States can now sign up for its Luna cloud gaming service, bringing them an expansive library of games and features. Even better, Amazon Prime members can now try Luna out for free and play select games through the Amazon Prime Gaming channel, which is joined by two other additions.

Amazon Luna is a cloud-based gaming service that allows anyone to play games using the devices they already own, including everything from Fire TV to PC, the iPhone, and Android devices. The service runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which means users can stream their favorite games instantly, eliminating the need for powerful hardware and long download wait times.

"Luna harnesses the power of the cloud, enabling customers to instantly play high quality, immersive games on the devices they already own," said Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services VP Daniel Rausch. "Today, we're excited to make Luna available to all customers in the mainland United States, with a unique offer for Prime members to play free games, new Twitch broadcast features for creators, and a broad lineup of titles for any gamer to enjoy."

Amazon Luna's new channels and features detailed

Luna offers six channels that house titles from multifarious genres, including family games and offerings made with core gamers in mind. That's an increase from the initial three channels that accompanied the platform's launch in October 2020. The three new channels added to the service are Prime Gaming Channel, Retro Channel, and Jackbox Games Channel.

The Prime Gaming Channel allows Prime members to play a monthly rotation of free games on Luna. For March, they'll be able to play "Devil May Cry 5," "Flashback," and "Immortals Fenyx Rising" (the latter of which will be available from March 8-14), to name a few. The Retro Channel features fan-favorite games from decades past, including "Street Fighter 2 — Hyper Fighting," "Metal Slug 3," and "Castlevania Anniversary Collection." Jackbox Games lets you play all eight Party Packs from Jackbox under one subscription, and all titles — like "Quiplash," "Drawful," and "Trivia Murder Party" — support Luna Couch, a cloud-first feature that lets you invite other players with or without a Luna subscription.

Luna now has two new features, including live broadcasting to Twitch and the Luna Phone Controller. Thanks to the latest Luna update on PC, Mac, and Fire TV, you can just click on the new broadcast button and stream your gameplay live. If you're streaming from your Fire TV devices, you can scan the QR code to link your phone as a webcam and microphone. You can also play Luna games on mobile using the Luna Phone Controller app, available on the app store.

Cloud gaming competition is growing

Though cloud-based gaming services have been around for a while, they've only recently seen a surge in popularity due to platforms like Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW. Sony was one of the earliest players in the industry with its PlayStation Now platform, which launched way back in January 2014 as a subscription service with on-demand access to a large game library.

Microsoft has since followed Sony's lead with its own Xbox Cloud Gaming platform that launched as a beta in 2019. Though each service varies a bit, with some requiring users to purchase titles and others providing access to them at no additional charge, each comes with the same benefit: the ability to play on whatever device you own, including a smartphone or tablet that wouldn't be able to handle such performance demands on their own.

Amazon's Luna is similar to these existing platforms, though, as expected, the company ties it into its wider Prime ecosystem with certain perks for its members. Whether the company will be able to compete with such a late start remains to be seen, but the free access to some titles for Prime members and support for Amazon's popular Fire TV devices paint a promising picture. 

Luna+ is priced at $5.99 per month, assuming you're either an existing customer who received early access to the platform or you sign up by March 31 — that promotion also applies to customers who sign up for Family Channel, though it's cheaper at $2.99 per month.

Once April 1 arrives, Luna+ will increase to $9.99 per month for new customers, while the Family Channel will increase to $5.99 per month. As for gamers who want access to the other channels, you'll pay $4.99 per month per channel for Jackbox Games Channel and Retro Channel. Users who want access to the Ubisoft+ Channel will pay considerably more at $17.99 per month.