Amazon is getting in on the game-streaming action with its newly announced Luna service, which will be competing against Google Stadia to win over potential adopters of non-console cloud-based gaming.
Just like Stadia, Luna will let you stream games directly from a remote server, meaning that you can play games on your TV or computer without having to fork out for a console or an expensive, custom-built gaming PC. Also like Stadia, there is also a dedicated Luna controller available that works in tandem with the streaming service, making for a smoother gaming experience.
With Luna boasting integration with the Alexa virtual assistant AI technology and the Amazon-owned live-streaming service Twitch, as well as agreements in place to bring some big new Triple-A games to the service, it looks like Google Stadia could have a fight on its hands. Could this be the PlayStation vs Xbox of cloud gaming services? A non-console war, if you will?
Only time will tell. For now, though, if you're tempted to sign up to a cloud gaming service without the commitment of buying a console, let's take a look at the differences between Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.
Luna vs Stadia: differences in price – hardware
When it comes to costing up these two services, there are two considerations. First is the hardware. To make the most out of both services, you'll need a dedicated controller, which connects to the remote servers directly and reduces latency. And, if you're looking to play games on your telly, you'll need either a Google Chromecast device (for Stadia) or an Amazon Fire TV device (for Luna).
Google is offering a 'Stadia Premiere Edition' bundle, which includes a Stadia controller and a Google Chromecast Ultra device, for £89.99. The controller is available separately for £59.
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. The cheapest Fire TV device, the Fire TV Stick Lite, is currently available for £29.99.
READ MORE: Amazon Luna cloud streaming service revealed
Luna vs Stadia: differences in price – subscriptions
The Google Stadia service is free to sign up to. However, you'll have to purchase access to individual games at a similar cost to buying them digitally on a console. You can pay a monthly subscription fee of £8.99 to access the Stadia Pro service, which gives you access to a limited library of selected free games and discounts on other games in the store.
With Luna, the pricing is slightly different – you can pay to subscribe to various 'channels', each with their own library of games. The basic Luna+ channel, currently only available to early access players in the US, costs $5.99 per month (around £5).
Amazon has also announced a partnership with publisher Ubisoft for a Ubisoft channel – there's no word yet on how much that will cost. Expect more channels to be announced over the coming months.
READ MORE: Amazon Luna controller explained
Luna vs Stadia: differences in supported devices
Amazon Luna will be available on the following devices at launch:
- PC (requires Windows 10 with support for DirectX 11)
- Mac (OSX 10.13+)
- FireTV devices (Fire TV Stick – 2nd gen, Fire TV Stick 4K, or Fire TV Cube – 2nd gen)
You will also be able to play games from Luna on Google Chrome for PC and Mac, as well as through the Safari browser for iPhone and iPad.
Google Stadia is available on the following devices:
- Mac (requires macOS X 10.9 and higher)
- PC (requires Windows 10)
- TV, via Google Chromecast Ultra device
- Tablets (requires Google Chrome)
- Pixel phones (from Pixel 2 onwards)
- Selected Samsung phones (including S8, S9, S10 and S20 lines)
READ MORE: Here’s how to stream games onto your phone via Project xCloud
Luna vs Stadia: differences in games
The key to the success of any streaming platform is the library of titles it includes. Amazon Luna will include over 100 games from the likes of 505 Games, SEGA, Ubisoft, Capcom and Team 17 when it releases. These include:
- Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
- Sonic Mania
- Trails of Cold Steel 3
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Resident Evil 7
- The Surge 2
- Steamworld Dig 2
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
- Overcooked 2
- Metro Exodus
- Two Point Hospital
Alongside these titles, Amazon has partnered with Ubisoft to bring big new titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion to the service.
In terms of the Stadia Pro subscription service, the current library includes (as of October 2020):
- Dead By Daylight
- Destiny 2
- Little Nightmares
- Metro Last Light Redux
- Orcs Must Die! 3
- Panzer Dragoon Remake
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break
- Steamworld Heist
- SteamWorld Dig 2
- Super Bomberman R Online
New titles are added to the Stadia Pro library each month. There is a huge number of other titles available on the Stadia store, including the likes of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Borderlands 3, Doom, Marvel's Avengers, Red Dead Redemption 2 and many more – however, you'll have to pay for these separately, even with a Stadia Pro subscription.
READ MORE: Xbox Game Pass is NOT very profitable right now, Microsoft marketing boss admits