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Amazon Launches Luna, a Cloud-Based Video Game Service

By Anders Bylund – Sep 24, 2020 at 10:56PM

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The service is starting off slowly with a limited invitation-only launch and roughly 100 game titles on Day One.

E-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon (AMZN 3.04%) is moving into the cloud-based video game market. The company just launched a cloud-based and Alexa-compatible gaming service called Luna, which will provide a gaming platform for PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, and iPad users.

What is Amazon Luna?

The service is currently open by invitation only, and it's restricted to the continental U.S. at an introductory fee of $5.99 per month. Gamers will need a supported device and a compatible game controller.

Options include the exclusive Luna controller from Amazon, Microsoft's (MSFT 0.07%) Xbox One controllers, the DualShock 4 controller for Sony's (SONY 1.66%) PlayStation 4, or a standard mouse and keyboard setup. Users on Apple (AAPL 1.37%) devices and PC systems can access Luna through their Google Chrome or Safari web browsers.

Photo of the Amazon Luna controller, including a triangular logo and  purple lights.

The Amazon Luna controller. Image source: Amazon.

The games will run on Amazon's cloud computing platform, accepting input from users' controllers and pushing out the resulting game action in the form of a high-definition video stream. Luna is rubbing shoulders with existing cloud gaming systems such as Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia, completing a trifecta of gaming services from the three largest cloud computing platforms on the market.

Amazon is launching the new service with more than 100 game titles from four high-profile game studios. More games will join the party over time, and Ubisoft will soon launch a separate Luna channel with exclusive titles and early access to upcoming game launches. Other developers are hammering out their agreements and technical details to pave the way for similar Luna-based channels later on.

The service is tightly integrated with Amazon's game-streaming service, Twitch. Gamers can start games directly from the Twitch service, while Luna will make it easy to kick off Twitch streams of its cloud-powered gaming experiences.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Anders Bylund owns shares of Alphabet (A shares) and Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Ubisoft Entertainment and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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