Amazon is muscling in on the game streaming action with its newly announced Luna service, which will be competing against the likes of Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass in the increasingly crowded arena of cloud-based gaming.
Alongside the service itself, the company will also be releasing a dedicated Amazon Luna controller. This will sync up directly with the cloud and enable you to play games on several different platforms, including PC, Mac and Fire TV devices.
Other controllers – from Sony’s DualShock 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One controller to a traditional keyboard and mouse – can be used to play games on the Luna service. But the Luna controller itself has been engineered to make the most out of Amazon’s game-streaming platform.
So, what exactly does the Amazon Luna controller offer? Here’s everything we know so far…
Amazon Luna controller features and specs
The Amazon Luna controller is wireless (natch) and powered by Cloud Direct technology, meaning that it is able to connect to Amazon’s game servers directly. This apparently reduces latency (the delay in the transfer of data from input to action) by up to 30 milliseconds when compared with a local Bluetooth connection. It also means that there’s no device-specific pairing required, making setup even less complicated – you can literally just pick up and play on any supported device.
As you might expect from an Amazon product, the Luna controller also works with the company’s signature Alexa technology. Simply by pressing the microphone button on the front of the gamepad, you can use voice commands to control the Luna service. Can’t be bothered to navigate your way around using the d-pad? Just say “Alexa, play…” and you’ll be immediately whisked off to your game of choice. You can also use this for other regular Alexa interactions, such as checking the weather or controlling your smart-home devices.
Amazon Luna controller design
Amazon has opted for a ‘less is more’ design for its Luna controller, although the traditional yet classy grey-and-black chassis is made instantly unique by the odd subtle splash of purple. Otherwise, it’s probably most similar in layout and design to the Xbox One controller. And, just like that one, the Luna controller is powered by two AA batteries.
According to Amazon, the controller boasts a “comfortable, textured grip”. Most of your gamepad standards are present and correct, too, including two “low-friction” thumbsticks, a d-pad, four action buttons, and “easy access bumpers and precise triggers”. The controller also features what looks like a headphone jack and a USB-C port (for a wired connection).
Amazon Luna controller price
The Amazon Luna controller is currently available to early access customers in the US for $49.99, but is scheduled to increase to $69.99 when the service gets a wide release. Going by current exchange rates, that’s around £55 in British money, although we wouldn’t be surprised if that figure is rounded up for the controller’s UK release.
Amazon Luna controller release date
The Amazon Luna controller is currently available only to those who’ve been granted early access to the Luna streaming service in the United States. There’s no word yet on when the service – or the controller – will open up for a wider release worldwide, though.