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Amazon's little-known cloud game streaming service "Luna" is now free for Prime subscribers

Wait, Amazon still does this game streaming thing? Lorem ipsum began as scrambled, nonsensical Latin derived from Cicero's 1st-century BC text De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum.

Amazon is making its cloud-based game streaming service Luna free to Prime members as it looks to gain market share – with access to a roster of games from Ubisoft like Assassin’s Creed an additional  $17.99/month – after an initial “free for seven days” offering announced in June 2021 failed to gain significant traction.

Whether that is enough to lure users away from XBox’s Game Pass or Playstation PS Plus remains an open question. Google tried and failed with its equivalent cloud gaming offering, “Stadia” which joined the “killed by Google” club in September 2022 after a lacklustre 34 months and arguably an inauspicious start – Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicking off the launch of the platform by announcing to the crowd, "I'm not a big gamer."

“Because the games on Luna are streamed from the cloud, gamers can play high-end games on devices they already own, like mobile phones, smart TVs, tablets, laptops and more. This means you don’t need to purchase expensive gaming consoles, PCs or other equipment, and while you can of course play on your couch if that’s your preferred spot, you can also game on the go” Amazon said this week, promoting its own $69 controller.

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Amazon also goes head-to-head with Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service as well as Netflix, which in 2022 agreed to buy Finland’s Next Games for €65 million (£54 million) as it ramped up its own game streaming efforts. (Netflix has released 55 games, all mobile titles.) But Amazon's  track record is as inauspicious as Google’s.

As Wired noted back in 2020: “Amazon’s total inability to excel in gaming is remarkable. Breakaway [a much-hyped game that it developed then killed off within nine months, five years ago] wasn’t its first fiasco, or its last.

"After more than a decade of concerted effort, the tech company that brute-forced its way to dominance in books, retail, and cloud computing has failed to produce a single successful big-name title.”

Prime members may want to have a play. xBox and Playstation teams are unlikely to be quaking in their boots and game developers wanting to explore collaborations in the hope of getting their games in front of Prime’s 220 million+ subscribers will not find Luna’s developer page an informative or enticing window, with Microsoft’s xCloud developer page offering far more information and guidance on getting involved.

Existing Prime members may want to have a play however. Here's the pricing breakdown.

See also: Netflix's engineers reveal details on its evolving data platform amid gaming pressure