Amazon Luna – the company’s cloud-based game streaming service – officially launched in the US today for anyone to use, in addition to adding a variety of new features, including free games for Amazon Prime members.
Luna was announced in the fall of 2020, but since then has only been available to a limited number of customers through an invite-only “early access” program. Today’s launch, however, finally opens up the service to anyone who can use it in the US, which could significantly increase the number of Luna customers.
Along with the wider launch, Amazon also announced three additional “channels” (Luna’s term for game bundles that customers can subscribe to on a monthly basis, similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass) for customers to enjoy.
The most notable of the new additions is the Prime Gaming Channel, which will offer Amazon Prime members a selection of free-to-play games on Luna that rotate monthly. Starting in March, Prime members will have access to Devil May Cry 5, Observer, System Redux, PHOGS!, and Go back. Additionally, Immortals Fenyx Rising will also be available to play for free but only from March 8-14 (instead of the entire month, as is the case for the other titles listed).
The “Retro Channel” is also launching on Luna, which will include classic games like Street Fighter II—Hyper Fight, Metal Slug 3and Castlevania Anniversary Collection, and the “Jackbox Games Channel”, which includes all eight Jackbox Party Pack titles. Amazon is also using the Jackbox Games channel to launch a new “Luna Couch” feature that lets other friends join you to play even if they aren’t a Luna subscriber themselves. Retro Channel and Jackbox Games Channel will cost $4.99 per month.
Luna works differently than other cloud services, like Google Stadia, where gamers can buy games like they would for any other non-streaming-based platform. Instead, players subscribe monthly to individual channels, which come with their own game bundles. Currently, Amazon offers the main Luna Plus channel ($5.99 per month), the Ubisoft Plus channel ($17.99 per month), and the family channel ($2.99), along with the new additions mentioned above. .
Finally, Amazon is using the official Luna launch to launch a few new features for the platform. The company is leveraging its ownership of Twitch to add native support for one-click streaming – just press a button on Luna, and you’ll be able to instantly stream your game live, complete with a camera feed overlay. There’s even a QR code system that allows users playing on Fire TV to link their phone to a webcam.
And for those without a dedicated controller (like the optional Luna Controller sold by Amazon), the company is adding the ability to use an iPhone or Android smartphone as a controller when playing on Fire TV.