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In 2020, Amazon announced its entrance into the world of gaming. Through the Amazon Luna service, they would be offering cloud gaming services to become a huge challenger to the existent console gaming industry. But what is Amazon Luna and how could it be a worthy adversary to console gaming and beyond?
What is Amazon Luna?
Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service that allows subscribers to engage with a variety of gaming titles through compatible devices without having to spend money on the hardware of a console. It is currently only accessible through invitation – which are reserved for professional gamers and high-profile Twitch streamers. When it is fully released the early access cost will be $5.99 per month and the beta access from Ubisoft+ will be $14.99 per month. Even the high-end cost is significantly lower than the price of a console.
The major benefit of Amazon Luna and any cloud-based gaming is that there are no upfront costs. Players don’t have to shell out for the latest console and the accouterments that befit gamers today. All you need is a device that connects to the internet and has sufficient processing power to allow for uninterrupted play.
Amazon Luna benefits of course from the huge financial backing of the Amazon company and the fact that they can branch out into all manner of entertainment. It’s easy to enter an arena with funding but no amount of money can affect whether or not there is uptake. Oculus Rift, for example, had plenty of backing when it launched in 2012 but this didn’t translate to those who actually engaged with the hardware.
Where Else Does the Technology Work?
Examples of using live streaming technology in entertainment aren’t new to cloud gaming. While the games in this case may be streamed through the cloud, there are already existing models that Luna could take inspiration from. For instance, as the options for live casino at William Hill show, traditional table games take advantage of live streaming technology to deliver live poker and live roulette to online casino fans. These games retain the essence of the game while showing what digital technology could offer.
Elsewhere, the growth of Twitch and the popularity of streaming games online has helped show that gaming doesn’t have to be a console-only affair. While cloud streaming might not change the gameplay, it helps to have a predecessor that has already changed how we think about gaming. Console puritans will have already seen how engaging the community-building aspects of streaming on Twitch and other sites are. This laid the groundwork for a new way of gaming.
Amazon Luna may seem new, but it is nothing more than a culmination of how technology is engaged with. It reflects the popularity of streaming and it reflects the desire to subscribe to things rather than own them. It also reflects the future of gaming. People shouldn’t have to spend hundreds on a console to play the latest title. The fact that a huge corporation such as Amazon is working towards the service also helps people trust its legitimacy.