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Amazon announces cloud gaming Stadia and xCloud rival, Luna

Suddenly, there’s now a third streaming service vying for your attention, as Amazon announce the latest attempt to be the Netflix of gaming.

There have been vague rumours of it for years but out of the blue Amazon has announced a new game streaming service called Luna, for Fire TV, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Although many will be quick to compare it to Stadia, in that it’s from a company with little direct experience of gaming, Luna is actually closer to Microsoft’s xCloud, as it uses a subscription model where you pay a monthly fee for access to over 100 games.

There’s no official UK pricing yet but the ‘introductory’ cost in the US is $5.99 a month during early access, which works out as £4.68. The implication being that it won’t stay that cheap forever.

The games on offer include some good titles but most are at least a year or two old, although Amazon are promising that more will be added over time.

Some of the bigger titles include Metro Exodus, Control, Resident Evil 7, A Plague Tale: Innocence, GRID, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee And The Impossible Lair, and Two Point Hospital.

All games can be played ‘up to’ 4K resolution and 60fps, and on up to two different devices at the same time for a single subscription.

That’s all on Amazon’s own Luna+ channel but they’ll also be offering publishers and developers the chance to run their own, with Ubisoft already signed up to create one.

The Ubisoft channel will include brand new games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising but it will have a separate, and no doubt more expensive, fee.

Since Amazon already owns Twitch that’s integrated into the whole service from the start, with the ability to watch a stream and instantly start playing whatever the game is yourself.

In terms of controllers, you can use a mouse and keyboard, Bluetooth controller, or Amazon’s own joypad – which looks almost exactly like the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

The Luna controller costs $49.99 (£39) and promises reduced latency of between 17 to 30 milliseconds on non-smartphone formats.

There’s no launch date for the service yet, just a US website to sign-up to be part of early access. So it may be a while before any of this comes to the UK.

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