We tried Amazon Luna and it’s not bad

Amazon’s Luna launches as a cheap option for the casual gamer — even if they don’t have a gaming computer.

Cloud gaming has been a hit (Microsoft’s Game Pass) or miss (Google’s Stadia).

So when Amazon took its gaming platform out of early access for US users this week, we gave it a shot.

How it works

Luna is a cloud-based subscription that allows you to stream games to your device, similar to Nvidia’s GeForce — except GeForce only lets you stream games you already own.

Luna lets you choose from a library of games for one monthly fee. And unlike gaming distribution platforms such as Steam or GOG, you don’t have to download or install the titles.

So, what can you play?

First, you’ll need a solid internet connection or cloud streaming is not in your future. After that:

  • Prime members get a rotating handful of games for free
  • For $5.99/mo., Luna+ users get a library of 100+ games
  • Add-ons include a family channel ($2.99/mo.), a retro channel, and a Jackbox channel full of party games (both $4.99/mo.)
  • A Ubisoft+ (“Far Cry,” “Assassin’s Creed”) subscription is $17.99/mo.

But is it worth it?

If you’re a casual gamer who wants to play without shelling out big bucks on a gaming computer or individual games, sure.

For example, I tried 4 games that aren’t exactly cheap on Steam:

  • “The Medium” ($49.99)
  • “Yakuza 0” ($19.99)
  • “Observer: System Redux” ($29.99)
  • “Devil May Cry 5” ($29.99)

And while many games are Windows-only, Luna worked with only minor lag on my MacBook Pro with a USB-connected Xbox controller. (FWIW, Amazon’s Luna controller connects to servers on its own and reduces lag, per PC Mag’s review.)

Other reviewers had success with tablets and phones, though nothing seemed compatible with my Pixel.

All in all, it’s not a bad deal — and a possible boon to the once-murky future of cloud gaming.

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