Adding to the selection of a handful of cloud gaming services is Amazon Luna. The platform was launched in the United States in March 2022 and was introduced further in selected countries in North America and Europe. It competes with other cloud gaming services such as GeForce Now from Nvidia and Xbox Cloud Gaming from Microsoft and other game subscription services such as Apple Arcade, PlayStation Plus from Sony, and Netflix. This article reviews the pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of Amazon Luna.
Pros of Amazon Luna: Advantages and Notable Features
The entire cloud platform of Amazon Luna is powered by the established cloud infrastructure of Amazon. The company has also inked deals with several game developers to populate its video game library. The entire service also has competitive plans compared to its counterparts and has also been integrated with the entire Amazon Prime subscription service. The following are the specific advantages of Amazon Luna and its notable features:
1. Low Latency and High-Quality Gaming
One of the selling points and advantages of Amazon Luna is that it provides low-latency cloud gaming with high-quality graphics. This comes from its use of the existing cloud infrastructure of the cloud computing services subsidiary Amazon Web Services. The computers that run the cloud gaming platform use Windows Server and Nvidia Tesla 4 graphics.
2. Decent Selection of Video Game Titles
Amazon has partnered with game developers such as Ubisoft and Epic Games to publish their game titles on its cloud gaming platform. There are more than 100 game titles on the platform that include Fortnite, Batman Arkham Knight, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Resident Evil 2, Sonic Mania, Capcom Arcade Stadium, and Trackmania, among others.
3. Available on Several Devices and Platforms
The cloud gaming service is available as a web app that can be accessed on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS personal computers, as well as on iOS and iPadOS, and Android devices. There is also a custom app available for Fire TV and Fire tablets, Samsung Smart TV, and LG TV. It also supports keyboards and mouse, and controllers for Xbox and PlayStation.
4. Flexible Subscription and Pricing Options
Another advantage of Amazon Luna is that it offers flexible subscription plans. The Luna+ plan is priced at USD 9.99 per month. The Ubisoft+ plan is priced at USD 17.99 per month and the Jackbox Games plan is priced at USD 4.99 per month. Existing Amazon Prime subscribers can also access a handful of curated video game titles from various developers.
Cons of Amazon Luna: Disadvantages and Key Limitations
It is important to note that Amazon Luna shares the general disadvantages of other cloud gaming services or platforms. The service is dependent on a reliable internet connection. It is still also at its earlier stage as evident by its limited regional availability and a moderate selection of games in its library. Some might also be taken aback by the absence of native platform-specific apps. The following are the disadvantages of Amazon Luna and its key limitations:
1. Limited Geographic Service Availability
This cloud gaming service and platform is only available in North America and certain countries in Europe at the moment. It is expected to roll out in other countries and regions in the nearest future. Nevertheless, as of the moment, outside of the geographic scope, interested users can opt to use a virtual private network or a proxy server for geographic access.
2. Video Game Library Needs Improvement
A notable disadvantage of Amazon Luna, especially when compared to GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, is that its entire game library is fragmented due to its flexible subscription plans and pricing options. An access to Luna+ does not guarantee access to all titles from Ubisoft and Jackbox Games. The library is also limited compared to PC and console.
3. Dependent on a Stable Internet Connection
It is true that the service is accessible and playable under average internet connection speeds of at least 25 Mbps. However, like other cloud gaming services and platforms, overall user experience is still dependent on a stable internet connection. Players run the risk of losing game progress in an intermittent connection. This is also not ideal for video game collectors.
4. Concerns About Status and Longevity
The market appeal of cloud gaming services is not as wide as the market for console gaming and PC gaming via Windows and even macOS. Google Stadia is a testament to this. The service was discontinued in January 2023. Xbox Cloud Gaming also suffers from the constant addition and removal of titles in its library. Amazon Luna can suffer the same fate.
Verdict: Advantages and Disadvantages of Amazon Luna
The key strength of Amazon Luna lies in Amazon Web Services. This cloud computing service from Amazon has established capabilities that enable its specific cloud gaming service to stream with low latency and high-quality graphics. It is possible for it to take a substantial market hold in the future through adequate marketing and the expansion of its video game library. However, at its current stage, the disadvantages of Amazon Luna might not entice users to subscribe and even turn off existing users from using the platform in the future.