Amazon is expanding its cloud gaming efforts with an official U.S. launch of its Luna platform. The service, which has been in an "invite-only" beta state since its soft launch in the fall of 2020, is now available for anyone in the mainland U.S. to sign up, with various subscription options.
Luna differs from competing cloud gaming platforms from Google, Microsoft and Nvidia in that it follows a cable TV model, offering channels with a bundle of games for a flat monthly subscription fee. Luna does not, however, let you play games you've bought elsewhere, as Nvidia's GeForce Now does, and doesn't let you purchase games or play free titles, as Google Stadia allows.
You effectively subscribe to Luna for access both to software and the service itself, similar in fashion to Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. (Although it should be noted that Microsoft's offering is tied to its Game Pass subscription, meaning titles can be played via the cloud on a range of screens or locally on Xbox and PC hardware.)
Right now, there are six available channels, including a new Prime Gaming channel with nine titles available to Prime customers for free. The other channels include an existing Ubisoft Plus channel for $17.99 and Amazon's own Luna Plus channel for $5.99 and family games channel for $2.99. There are also two new channels, including retro arcade classics for $4.99 and the full collection of social party games from Jackbox Games for $4.99. Amazon says the monthly price for its Luna Plus and Family channels will double on April 1.
Amazon is also adding new features, including the ability to use your phone as a controller to play games through a Fire TV device and the ability to broadcast a Luna play session on Twitch. Right now, Luna is available as a native app for PC, Mac and Fire TV devices and on mobile devices, tablets and Chromebooks as a web app.
Correction: A previous version if this story said Amazon Luna was not available on mobile devices. It is in fact available as a web app on Android, iOS and Chrome OS. We regret the error.