Cloud gaming is a massive marketplace that is aggressively expanding. However, recently, we have witnessed how fickle this gaming environment can be! Google Stadia made big waves when it was first introduced, but with a poor following and badly executed ideas, the service came to an abrupt end. Therefore, will Amazon Luna learn from those mistakes to muscle in on an already saturated playing field?
This streaming-based service runs alongside Amazon’s other key USP, Amazon Prime Gaming. Consequently, if you are a “Prime” customer, you may already be a veteran of this interesting and well-tuned streaming service. However, if you are none the wiser, allow this article to give you my thoughts on what I experienced.
Amazon Luna has 3 unique options to choose from; Luna+ subscription, Jackbox Games, and the ever-popular Ubisoft+. For this review, I focused on the base Luna+ subscription. Yet, though the prices and games vary, the other choices broadly work in the same manner. Accordingly, depending on your needs and how much you wish to invest, there is plenty of content to select.
How do you access your Amazon Luna account?
Like many other streaming services, Amazon has created a standalone app for its Amazon Luna service. This free-to-download software wasn’t as easy to find as I’d hoped and this was disappointing. If you wish to install the program, you have to flit between a handful of websites to find the right QR code before you can get going.
Once you’ve finished arsing about with the setup, everything runs smoothly. As expected, Amazon wants you to sign up for its service, so a 7-day free trial is offered to entice you in. Therefore, unless you are investing in the Amazon Luna controller (more on that momentarily), there is zero risk or cost involved.
After you have chosen the subscription you wish to go with, the rest is plain sailing. The excellent app is user-friendly, quick, and well-laid out. What’s more, it is clear what games are available to which subscription, so confusion is kept to a minimum. Moreover, as this is associated with your Amazon account, you are reassured that your details are safe and your gaming experience will be top-notch.
What’s in the box of the Amazon Luna controller?
- The compact controller is housed in a sturdy and professional cardboard box. Inside, the contents are safely packaged for transit. The outer packaging is adorned with key selling points and the box begs to be opened.
- The Amazon Luna controller looks similar to Microsoft’s official Xbox pad. With tactile grips, comfortable buttons, and lightweight nature, this controller is perfect for long gaming sessions. Moreover, it has built-in Bluetooth and can be connected to any device using the Luna controller app and a Wi-Fi connection.
- 2xAA batteries. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have in-built batteries. Subsequently, you’ll have to use the supplied batteries to get you started.
- A basic user manual talks you through the fundamentals.
Technical aspects of the Amazon Luna controller.
The Amazon Luna controller impressed me immediately. The off-black colour, matched with the rich purple LED centre lighting, was eye-catching. Additionally, the comfortable and tactile grips ensure that this feels nice in the hand during extended gaming sessions. Alongside this, the travel distance for the buttons helps to maintain a competitive edge when playing online. On top of this, you can use this controller for other apps and gaming platforms if you so wish.
Thanks to its vast connectivity settings, this controller is versatile as well as affordable. If you are using the free-to-download Amazon Luna controller app, your pad will link up with the Amazon Luna app via a Wi-Fi connection. Alternatively, you can use the built-in Bluetooth or a USB cable. The benefit of either of these connections is a low-latency gaming experience. No matter what game I choose, I never had any issues regarding lag. Furthermore, a simple press of a button was all that was needed to connect the controller.
The controller isn’t necessary.
I loved the excellent controller, but what was more impressive was the touchscreen alternative. If you don’t want to invest in the fancy-looking accessory, you can simply use touch controls on your phone to control every aspect. The over-screen controls enable you to play each title with ease. What’s more, they are responsive, clean and don’t interrupt your gaming experience.
Alongside this, you can play cooperatively with a friend even if they are miles away. Moreover, they don’t need to subscribe to the Amazon Luna service and that makes it even better value for money. On top of this, would-be streamers can enjoy the seamless Twitch experience. Whether you wish to watch other gamers or become an Internet sensation, Amazon Luna fulfils those wishes.
How reliable is the Amazon Luna service?
This streaming service is available in multiple countries and can be utilised on many platforms. If you have an Amazon Firestick or compatible TV, you can stream directly to your big screen. Alternatively, you can use a tablet, PC, laptop, or mobile phone to get your gaming kick. Upon setting your account up, you are advised to use a 5 GHz connection where possible. However, this wasn’t essential, as streaming using various bandwidths produced excellent results.
If you are out and about, a Wi-Fi connection may not be available. Worry not, as you can stream using your mobile phone connection. Word of warning, though, ensure that you have enough data to cover your time on the app.
Whenever I was connected to my Wi-Fi at home, I experienced nothing but perfection. This was in stark contrast to my stuttering Xbox Game Pass account. Accordingly, I was thoroughly impressed with every gaming moment. Sadly, though, I cannot say the same about my mobile connection. Whenever I played on 4G, each game stuttered and it wasn’t great. But if I was playing on 5G, the end product was similar to my home Wi-Fi connection.
Is there room for a newcomer?
Xbox Game Pass, GeForce NOW, and Shadow Cloud PC dominate the field. Therefore, is there room for a newcomer? In short, I don’t know! But the Amazon Luna subscription service offers great value for money, especially if you already invest in their “Prime subscription service”. The 3 options vary from as little as £3.99 per month, all the way up to £14.99 per month, but they include a vast range of titles. Alongside this, I’ve never experienced such a good streaming option.
Thanks to the stable connection, and excellent choice of games, I wasn’t disappointed. Moreover, the comfortable, well-built, and stylish Amazon Luna controller was worth every penny. This amazing accessory can be used exclusively for the streaming app, or it can be added to your collection as a backup pad. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. Everything considered, I adore what Amazon has created, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves. Unlike the failed Google Stadia, I can’t see this platform flopping. However, if it does hit some bumps in the road, you won’t lose out too much on any investments. Therefore, I loved both the streaming platform and the controller, and I recommend that you buy the controller here!
(More information on Amazon Luna can be found here!)