Amazon Luna officially launches in the US with free games for Prime members and more – TechCrunch

Amazon’s cloud-based game streaming service, Amazon Luna, is officially launching to everyone in the United States, the company announced on Tuesday. Amazon first unveiled Luna in September 2020. Since then, the service has only been accessible by a limited number of people through Luna’s invite-only early access program.

In addition to the nationwide launch, Amazon also announced three new channels on Luna. For context, channels are what Luna calls bundles of games that users can subscribe to each month. The first of the three new channels is the Prime Gaming Channel, which offers Prime members access to a rotating selection of games for free on Luna each month. In March, the selection includes Devil May Cry 5, Observer, System Redux, PHOGS! and more. Amazon also notes that Immortals Fenyx Rising will be available to play for free from March 8 to 14.

The second new channel is the Retro Channel, which features classic games from publishers like Capcom and SNK. Amazon says the channel is meant to give users a way to “re-live the glory days of arcade gaming” with titles such as Street Fight II, Hyper Fighting, Metal Slug 3 and others. The third new channel is the Jackbox Games Channel, which includes all eight Party Packs from Jackbox Games. The channel features popular games including Quiplash, Drawful, Trivia Murder Party, and more. Both the Retro Channel and Jackbox Games Channel cost $ 4.99 per month.

Amazon also announced that players can now broadcast Luna gameplay to Twitch with the latest Luna update on a PC, Mac or Fire TV. To make this possible, the company rolled out a new broadcast button that allows players to stream gameplay live with a camera feed overlaid on-screen. With Fire TV, players can use a QR code to connect their phone as a webcam and mic.

In addition, users can now try Luna on Fire TV using just an iPhone or Android phone as the controller through the Luna Controller app. Amazon says the on-screen controller is an option for new or casual gamers without a controller who wants to check out side-scrollers, turn-based RPGs, trivia titles and more.

Unlike other cloud services, Luna operates by letting users subscribe to channels on a monthly basis. Currently, the primary Luna + Channel costs $ 5.99 per month and the Family Channel costs $ 2.99 per month.

The Luna + Channel offers a growing library that includes more than 100 titles, whereas the Family Channel offers a curated collection of more than 35 games that are appropriate for gamers of all ages. Starting April 1, the Luna + Channel will cost $ 9.99 per month and the Family Channel will be priced at $ 5.99 per month. Amazon also offers a Ubisoft + Channel for $ 17.99.

It’s been over a year since Amazon first released Luna, which has been facing competition from other services including Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Amazon’s decision to add a rotating selection of free monthly games for Prime customers seems like a way to get more people to try Luna with no extra cost.

The nationwide expansion of Luna comes as Amazon recently increased the price of Prime in the United States. The monthly fee went up from $ 12.99 to $ 14.99 and the annual membership increased from $ 119 to $ 139.

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