Amazon Luna, the cloud gaming service that lets you turn your Fire TV device (as well as other devices) into a full-featured video gaming box – is finally coming to the UK.
The service, which has been available in the US for more than a year, gives customers instant access (via streaming) to console-quality games, without having to buy an expensive new device.
The service itself is free (sort of) – but to play any games, you’ll need to either purchase them directly (in some cases) or join one of the subscription bundles.
There are several pricing tiers, depending on the size of the gaming library you want – and Amazon Prime members also get access to a rotating selection of free games every month.
In addition to finally bringing the gaming service to the UK, Amazon is also now selling its Luna Wireless Controller in the UK – which works with Luna’s games on many Bluetooth-connected devices – the Fire TV, Amazon’s tablets, smartphones and more.
Luna’s UK launch was announced today along with Amazon’s Fire TV line which is finally coming to the UK as well – read more about Amazon’s Fire TV announcements here.
Cloud Gaming – What Is It?
Cloud Gaming is still in its early stages, at least in terms of how popular it is (or rather isn’t) – although several gaming giants like Sony and Microsoft are already involved in that market. Google also had its own cloud gaming service – Stadia – which was shut down last year.
A cloud gaming service means most of the processing of the game is done on a powerful remote server – therefore you don’t need a gaming console with a high-end processor at home.
Instead, the game is streamed to you in real-time via broadband, and, when it works well – your button presses and game movements are sent instantly back to the game.
Unlike some other cloud gaming services, Amazon’s Luna isn’t restricted to just one console or device – it works on several platforms (PCs, smartphones, tablets and more) – and, if you want to use it on your TV – a cheap Fire TV stick is enough.
Controlling Luna’s games can be done either with your phone (you can download an app that turns the phone into a controller) – or with the purpose-built Amazon Luna Wireless Controller, which can connect to your Fire TV, phone, PC or tablet via Bluetooth or WiFi.
As for broadband, Amazon told us a 10Mbps broadband speed is typically enough for streaming games on Luna – though as always your mileage may vary (and it also depends on other simultaneous broadband uses in your home).
With the service now available in the UK, Amazon also told us that its content would be streaming from Amazon’s servers in the UK – which will improve performance.
If you then travel to the US, and play your Luna games when you’re over there – the streams will automatically switch to servers in the US.
Games On Amazon Luna
Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service offers a selection of games to choose from for different types of gamers – whether it’s casual games, retro classics, or AAA titles.
Amazon Prime members can play a rotating selection of games on Luna every month at no additional cost.
This month, for example, Amazon is offering Mega Man 11, Trails from Zero, Sail Forth and more. Next month casual games like Jackbox Party Pack 3 will be included.
To play more titles in the Luna catalogue, customers can choose from three different monthly subscription options:
Luna+, £8.99/month: Gives customers access to a growing collection of games from across genres – action, adventure, classics, and more.
Luna+ features fan-favourite titles such as Beach Buggy Racing 2: Hot Wheels Edition, Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated and Resident Evil 2.
Ubisoft+ Multi Access, £14.99/month: Ubisoft’s subscription service includes access to fan-favourite AAA titles including the Assassin’s Creed series, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy, and Far Cry franchises.
Prime members and Luna+ subscribers can also link their standalone Ubisoft Connect account to Luna and play select Ubisoft PC games they already own on their Fire TV or any other supported device.
Jackbox Games, £3.99/month: Only available on Luna, the Jackbox Games subscription includes popular hits like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, and Drawful.
Another Luna+ feature is Luna Couch, which lets you play local co-op games together with friends on Luna, even when you’re physically apart – and only one of the players needs to have a Luna+ subscription.
The most popular games with Luna Couch among US players have so far been Overcooked!, Pile Up, Death Squared, the Contra Anniversary Collection and the Jackbox Party Pack.
Live Luna Broadcasting to Twitch
Anyone can be a Twitch broadcaster with Luna on PC, Mac, and Fire TV with just a few clicks.
With Luna, you can stream gameplay live with a camera feed overlaid on-screen using the broadcast button, which provides a simple way to broadcast to the Twitch community.
And, if you own a Fire TV device, you can use a QR code to connect your phone as a webcam and microphone.
“With Amazon Luna, we’re making gaming easier and more convenient by offering instant access to console-quality games on devices customers already own,” said Eric Saarnio, vice president, Amazon Devices International.
“Gamers in the US have been enjoying Luna for the past year so we’re thrilled to now expand the service to customers in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.”
Starting today, Luna is available to everyone in the UK on compatible devices including Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Windows PCs, Chromebooks, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones.