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How to get started with Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service

Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service is still very new to most people despite some early adopters having played on Luna during the current early access period. Amazon just posted a video called “Everything You Need to Know About the Amazon Luna Controller” today. We thought now might be a good time for a How-to guide for Amazon Luna.

All About Luna

Amazon’s Luna apps are available for PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone, and iPad. Amazon will provide an Android app later but the interesting thing is how they are enabling cloud gaming on iOS. Until now services such as Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Game Pass have not been able to utilized on iOS because of Apple’s App Store restrictions. Amazon’s Luna app for iOS is actually a PWA (progressive web app). Recently Apple even mentioned the open web as an avenue for game streaming apps, low and behold Amazon was already developing it. You can even play Luna right on certain TV’s running the Fire TV OS, no TV Box, Console or TV Stick required.

Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.

Apple

It remains to be seen if Microsoft, Google and NVIDIA follow Amazon’s lead and push ahead with PWA’s to circumvent Apple’s tight App Store grip on iOS. We have talked about the benefits of PWA’s in the past. They are cross platform and a developer only needs to create one web app that can be updated server side. The user would not need to install an app, just pin a shortcut to their home screen.

How to get started with Luna

Amazon’s Luna Channel is the least expensive service at $5.99/month for the early access period. If you want access to Ubisoft’s games, you will need to subscribe to the Ubisoft+ tier which costs $14.99.

Luna setup

  • Download & install the Luna Controller app on your mobile device or visit here on the web.
  • Install x2 AA batteries Luna Controller
  • Press and hold the home button for 3 seconds > you will now see an orange light spin around the home button
  • Open the Luna controller app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up Cloud Direct or follow the on-screen instructions in your browser to set up cloud direct.
  • Now you’re ready to play games on Luna!

Luna Cloud Direct Controller

Much like Stadia, Amazon is using a specially designed controller with Cloud Direct technology to reduce latency. The controller uses the Xbox controller button layout and should be familiar to Xbox owners. Luna is running on custom Windows-powered server blades so publishing games to Luna should be very simple for existing PC game developers.

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