While Amazon's attempted forays into the gaming market have not been especially successful you certainly can't accuse them of lacking ambition. Their latest attempt to break into this hugely lucrative and highly competitive marketplace is with something called Luna. However, at the time of writing, the company is being coy about the Amazon Luna UK launch.
If you haven't yet encountered Luna, we'll take you through what it is. If you are already familiar with Luna, then we'll be letting you know the latest news on a release date. Let's crack on with everything you need to know.
What is Amazon Luna?
Amazon announced Luna at an event on September 24th 2020. Luna is the company's cloud-based gaming platform, essentially the equivalent of something like Google Stadia. All you need is a compatible gamepad, a Luna subscription, and an appropriate internet connection. You can then stream games directly from the cloud onto your screen. Luna will be available on Windows PC and Mac, Fire TV, and on iPhone, iPad and certain Android devices. Luna is able to run games at up to 1080p and 60 fps, with 4K expected to arrive soon. At the moment, there is a catalogue of around 50 games, from a variety of publishers.
There is also the option of adding subscriptions to other channels, such as Ubisoft, for an additional fee. Access to games will only be on a subscription basis however; the model is very much like Netflix. Currently, pricing is only available for the US. Early access is $5.99 a month. For the additional Ubisoft content, that costs $17.99 a month. The family channel, which supplies a library of E and E10+ games, is $2.99 a month.
At the moment, Luna is still in its infancy, and up until recently its early access program was by invitation-only. In February, this was expanded slightly, so customers with a Fire TV could also request access. Now, several months later, are we any closer to getting a release date in the UK for everyone? Here's what we know.
What's the Amazon Luna UK release date?
At the time of writing, there is no official word on when Luna will officially launch. According to Amazon Luna's website, Luna is currently supported in mainland U.S. only. Therefore Luna is not available in the UK during the early access period.
Right now, we can only assume that Amazon is taking its time, to make sure the service is as good as it can be before committing to a launch date. Given the troubles the gaming division has had in gaining any traction, it is surely important that Amazon gets this right. While the $500 million budget enjoyed by Amazon's gaming team dwarfs that of many well-established studios, Amazon are yet to really see much of a return on that. So it makes sense that they are being a little more cautious than they might have been in the past. Hopefully we will start to get more information soon.
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The Amazon Luna remains largely unavailable. Previously, access was by invitation-only, and then available to customers with a Fire TV. But that has since expanded a little further. Now, users can request early access if they have a US Amazon account. This does not necessarily mean you will be granted access, however. Luna was briefly made invite-free on Amazon Prime Day back in June. So keep checking in case this happens again.
If you're in the Uk and hoping for more news on a release...sorry. We still don't have anything definitive. But we can take encouragement from the fact that early access is widening. This means that hopefully, in the not too distant future Amazon will be clearer on when Luna will come to the UK. We'll continue to let you know as things change.