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Amazon's Luna Gaming Service Available on Mac and iOS as Part of Early Access Rollout

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Amazon today announced that its Luna cloud-based gaming service is available in the United States as part of an early access test, with Luna able to be used on Macs, PCs, Fire TV, and iOS devices through web apps.


Amazon is not able to develop a native app for the iPhone because of Apple's restrictions that would require each cloud-based streaming game to be submitted to the App Store separately, a barrier that has also prevented Microsoft's xCloud and Google's Stadia from being brought to the iPhone and the iPad. Given this restriction, Amazon is using a web-based interface on the iPhone and iPad.

Amazon is providing invitations for a small number of customers in the United States, who will be able to test the service and will have an option to buy the $50 Luna controller that goes along with it.


Games can be streamed on two devices at a time at 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, though Amazon says 4K support is coming in the future. A high-speed internet connection and compatible game controller (Luna, Xbox One, or DualShock 4) or mouse and keyboard are required.

The Luna streaming game service is priced at $5.99 per month and provides access to 50 games through the Luna+ Game Channel. Early access testers can get a free seven day trial, but after that, must pay the $5.99 per month fee. An Ubisoft Channel that's coming soon will include Ubisoft titles like "Assassin's Creed Valhalla."

With early testers, Amazon says that it will be seeking feedback from streamers and players of all kinds to help build out the service. Those who want to sign up for early access can do so on the Luna website.

Article Link: Amazon's Luna Gaming Service Available on Mac and iOS as Part of Early Access Rollout
 

farewelwilliams

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Jun 18, 2014
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Cloud-based streaming is not good for most games. Latency will always be an issue and it'll be a while before anyone trusts it for competitive multiplayer games.

Most people just use it as a reason to bash Apple for App Store restrictions even though they'll likely never use it (or find very little use for it)
 
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apparatchik

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Mar 6, 2008
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So battle.net that uses cloud based games to run competitive multiplayer games is not viable? There are many game vendors that do that. Latency happens sometimes because of internet issues. But you can watch many gamers playing on twitch doing just what you said is not good for most games. :p

To his defense, these are two different things, cloud based streaming means when you press a button, the command has to travel all the way to the data center, register the action on the instance, and travel back as a video frame to your screen, so, if your connection latency to the data center is 60ms, this means 120ms latency for something that has virtual zero latency when the game is being run by your home console/computer.

Having said this, Im a big believer in cloud based streaming for gaming, I currently use GeForceNow to play from a city north of Mexico City, I connect to US Central, my connection latency around 39ms most days (I have fiber, and my tracerts show a two nodes connection to Dallas, TX). This is fine for playing most AAA titles on single player mode. I suppose people that are serious about gaming competition/play for money, wont be using a cloud based service. They're not the target audience anyways.

If you have a data center in town, or even in-state, and you have fiber and connect to your router via ethernet, the experience is indistinguishable from playing locally. And you can use the thinnest of clients, potentially the client could be your smart tv even, no need to even own a smartphone or laptop of any kind, let alone a gaming rig...

I will add, that Im also an Apple Arcade subscriber, I dont know who came with the idea that Stadia, Geforce Now, xCloud, etc, has anything to do with Apple Arcade, I dont think they see each other as competition on any sense. They might even be complementary as AFAIK.
 
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vertical smile

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Amazon today announced that its Luna cloud-based gaming service is available in the United States as part of an early access test, with Luna able to be used on Macs, PCs, Fire TV, and iOS devices through web apps.
What about tvOS and the Apple TV?

Seem like no one cares about tvOS, even Apple.

EDIT: Probably due to the web apps, so that is on Apple not Amazon.
 
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Sethal

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Jun 5, 2014
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Cloud-based streaming is not good for most games. Latency will always be an issue and it'll be a while before anyone trusts it for competitive multiplayer games.

Most people just use it as a reason to bash Apple for App Store restrictions even though they'll likely never use it (or find very little use for it)

I’d argue the opposite and say this is the future and will take off just as streaming video and television has. XCloud works great in its infancy and latency will become to become less of an issue as our internet infrastructure advances. As it stand now latency is only an issue with select types of games.

In addition, Apple deserves to be bashed once and awhile. Competition is good for all parties involved and bricking this off from iOS is very anti-competitive.
 
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4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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What about tvOS and the Apple TV?

Seem like no one cares about tvOS, even Apple.

EDIT: Probably due to the web apps, so that is on Apple not Amazon.

It's on Amazon. They could make an app that follows Apple's app rules, but they choose not to.

I’d argue the opposite and say this is the future and will take off just as streaming video and television has. XCloud works great in its infancy and latency will become to become less of an issue as our internet infrastructure advances. As it stand now latency is only an issue with select types of games.

In addition, Apple deserves to be bashed once and awhile. Competition is good for all parties involved and bricking this off from iOS is very anti-competitive.

There is a benefit to cloud based games, sure, but there is an even bigger benefit to making games for the platform they will be played on. Look at the terrible mobile games that are brought to consoles, and the terrible console ports brought to PC. It takes a lot of work to adapt a game that was made to be played one way into a game worth playing another.
 
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vertical smile

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It's on Amazon. They could do make an app that follows Apple's app rules, but they choose not to.
I don't really see it that way.
Amazon chose going with the web app instead of an app. This makes it a lot more cross platform as web browsers are pretty universal.

While it makes me sad, I don't blame Amazon for not investing in development for tvOS, as hardly anyone uses it, and even Apple doesn't really pay too much attention to it.

Besides, it would be much easier for Apple to bring Safari to tvOS. It would also make a lot of ATV users happy.
 
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4jasontv

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I don't really see it that way.
Amazon chose going with the web app instead of an app. This makes it a lot more cross platform as web browsers are pretty universal.

While it makes me sad, I don't blame them for not investing in development for tvOS, as hardly anyone uses it, and even Apple doesn't really pay too much attention to it.

Besides, it would be much easier for Apple to bring Safari to tvOS. It would also make a lot of ATV users happy.

Again, it's Amazon's fault for choosing to not develop and app. It's not 100% cross platform because clearly it can't be used on all platforms.

Sure, Safari on tvOS would have some benefits but the experience would be as terrible as the ones that already exist. Apple would need to figure out a way to make websites they don't control usable on a TV. No other platform has solved that, so it's not as easy as looking at what others have done. Heck, most websites look terrible if you have 4K or and ultrawide display. So it's not going to look better 10 feet away from an 85 inch TV.

Edit: Even a tech site like Mac Rumors doesn't scale for resolution changes.
1603241228300.png

I don't blame MR. It's the better of two options, because when it does scale, such as with Ubisoft, it looks even worse.
1603241499480.png
 
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vertical smile

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Again, it's Amazon's fault for choosing to not develop and app. It's not 100% cross platform because clearly it can't be used on all platforms.
If the tvOS had Safari and Amazon chose to put it on iOS and not tvOS, then I would be blaming them. Can't blame them for something they cannot control.

Sure, Safari on tvOS would have some benefits but the experience would be as terrible as the ones that already exist. Apple would need to figure out a way to make websites they don't control usable on a TV. No other platform has solved that, so it's not as easy as looking at what others have done. Heck, most websites look terrible if you have 4K or and ultrawide display. So it's not going to look better 10 feet away from an 85 inch TV.
There are built-in apps on tvOS right now that do not have a good experience.

I am sure the experience is not the reason of the lack of a web browser on tvOS.
 
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4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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If the tvOS had Safari and Amazon chose to put it on iOS and not tvOS, then I would be blaming them. Can't blame them for something they cannot control.


There are built-in apps on tvOS right now that do not have a good experience.

I am sure the experience is not the reason of the lack of a web browser on tvOS.

You can blame them for not spending the money to make it work. I don't give them any credit for taking the easy way out.

I agree with you that many of the apps on tvOS are bad. But that's a product of being developed by contracts not creators. If you could actually use the Up Next feature, and if tvOS was smart enough to understand what the best platform is to play from tvOS would be great. Apps shouldn't be used to launch content. It should be a place to set settings. Up next should manage 100% of all content. I wish Apple would pull apps that don't use it.
 
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Peepo

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Jun 18, 2009
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Does Safari on iOS have APIs for bluetooth game controllers? If one needs to purchase a cloud/wifi controller as a workaround, then many won't bother if they cannot use an existing xbox controller.
 
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vertical smile

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I agree with you that many of the apps on tvOS are bad. But that's a product of being developed by contracts not creators. If you could actually use the Up Next feature, and if tvOS was smart enough to understand what the best platform is to play from tvOS would be great. Apps shouldn't be used to launch content. It should be a place to set settings. Up next should manage 100% of all content. I wish Apple would pull apps that don't use it.
While this is an issue, I was more like talking about tvOS' version of Photos, the tvOS App Store, Computers, and, yes the fact that you cannot choose the source of content played in the TV app. This stuff used to be what Apple was good at.

You can blame them for not spending the money to make it work.
I can blame Amazon, but I understand their reasoning.

If Apple paid a fraction of the attention to the tvOS and ATV that they spend on ATV+, maybe they could bring more developer support and more interest from consumers.

The ATV is still a better device than its competitors, but most outside of the tech enthusiast (and even many within) wouldn't know that. Most never heard of an Apple TV.
 
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Unregistered 4U

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I will add, that Im also an Apple Arcade subscriber, I dont know who came with the idea that Stadia, Geforce Now, xCloud, etc, has anything to do with Apple Arcade, I dont think they see each other as competition on any sense. They might even be complementary as AFAIK.
I think it’s mainly for the lulz. “Hey, here’s two unrelated things that are about gaming!”
Besides, it would be much easier for Apple to bring Safari to tvOS. It would also make a lot of ATV users happy.
Wait, there are still people that want to browse on their TV?
 
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jimbobb24

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Jun 6, 2005
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Doesnt Google already have one of these running? I expect MSFT to dominate in this space despite fact I prefer Sonys consoles. They have always been a step ahead online.
 
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ilifecomputer

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Feb 9, 2005
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As someone who tends to compute mostly on Mac, Google Stadia has been amazing for my gaming fix. I did get into the Luna test today and so far it seems pretty good but not as good as Stadia (visually or latency wise).

Speaking of which, Stadia has a new PacMan game anyone with a Gmail address can play today and it’s awesome!
 
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Sasparilla

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Jul 6, 2012
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From the look of it this seems to essentially be PC (Win) compatible for the game porting so Amazon gets the whole PC gaming catalog available - big difference with Stadia that needs a lot of work for a port (hence no Fortnite on Stadia for example long before the recent blowup).

Have to say I’ll be tempted to try this out if the game catalog truly pans out like they’re saying. There are often games avail on PC that are not on xBox or PS4 (normally one or the other).

If it is workable it’ll be the end of niche platforms for big games over time - cause just stream it and cut the port.
 
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scuac

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Mar 2, 2008
113
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“Amazon is not able to develop a native app for the iPhone because of Apple's restrictions that would require each cloud-based streaming game to be submitted to the App Store separately,...”

wait wait wait.This cannot mean what it says literally. Is Apple really suggesting that a game streaming app, which by definition abstracts away the concept of keeping a game library, has to submit EACH individual game they offer to the app store? For what purpose? This is nonsensical. This has to be a typo or some other error. Can you imagine if they asked Netflix to submit every movie they offer before they can put their app in?

i hope Amazon does exactly that an uploads a few petabytes of data just to clog their servers. Good luck with the app review.
 
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farewelwilliams

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Jun 18, 2014
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I’d argue the opposite and say this is the future and will take off just as streaming video and television has. XCloud works great in its infancy and latency will become to become less of an issue as our internet infrastructure advances. As it stand now latency is only an issue with select types of games.

In addition, Apple deserves to be bashed once and awhile. Competition is good for all parties involved and bricking this off from iOS is very anti-competitive.

You’re fighting physics. Even if you have perfect 8G internet (whatever that is), you’ll still have propagation delay from your phone to the router to the data center. That’s limited by the speed of light.

There’s also a delay from the data center to the multiplayer server which must connect to different data centers and/or clients that are also playing the game.

that’s not even including other delays like bluetooth controller delay/touch screen delay/frame render delay/encoding and decoding delay/ etc...

competitive multiplayer games will never happen via streaming. maybe single player games will get better.
 
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GumaRodak

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Mar 14, 2015
149
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The cloud gaming is future. The only problem what i see is that every big company wants to have its own platform and ofcourse different games. So instead of having one powerfull computer to play them all, you will have to subscribe to all of them ending at 80$ monthly :)
 
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