Luna game streaming (from Amazon)

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by squarezero, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
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    #1 squarezero, Nov 12, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
    Just got my early access invite Amazon’s Luna game streaming service. $6.00 a month for recent and new PC games like Control, Dirt, etc. Unlike Stadia, you get access to their entire basic library for that price ($15.00 a month gives you access to their Ubisoft channel — I’m sure more will come soon.

    Tried it in my iPhone 12 and the whole thing is pretty painless. You access the service through Safari, but once you set up a home page link, it behaves like a separate app. I played a bit of Control using my DualShock and it played reasonably well — a bit of lag, but we had two people on Zoom when tried it. A big caveat here is that the service is controller-only at the moment — no touch controls.

    All in all, it bodes well for Stadia and Xbox on iOS. I’m still not clear what the big deal is about streaming on phones — if I can’t use touch controls, I’d rather play these AAA games on a big screen. But so far it seems like this is a viable option, even with apple being difficult with dedicated streaming apps.

    Edit: I should add that Amazon is selling a dedicated Luna controller that is supposed to pretty much eliminate input lag (like with Stadia, it connects directly with the service, not through Bluetooth) and comes with a phone clip. I’m curious enough to order one, but it’s not available till Dec 3.

    Edit 2: Correction — the controller will arrive tomorrow. The phone clip is coming on the 3rd.
     
  2. squarezero

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    Looks like the current iOS beta includes specific support for the Luna controller — which suggests that Apple is collaborating directly with Amazon on the service.
     
  3. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
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    Just tried the Luna controller works, and it seems to work well with the current iOS. Definitely reduces the input lag compared with my DualShock. As I understand it, it connects directly with the cloud server and not through my iPhone with Bluetooth.

    Played about an hour of Control, and I really can’t complain — the game ran at a steady 60 FPS with full ray tracing and barely a hiccup. With the phone clip, the whole thing should make a nice handheld device for PC/console games. I should say again that the Safari integration is seamless; the Home Screen link behaves, for all intents and purposes, like a dedicated app.
     
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  4. JasonLL

    JasonLL Well-Known Member

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    The idea of cloud gaming is an amazing one that has dated back over a decade. Not being bound by specific hardware constraints and being able to play the latest software anywhere on any device is a dream that is inching closer to reality by the year. The elephant in the room is device lag that may get somewhat addressed with the Amazon specific controller but I’d be surprised if there’s zero lag and of course issues for many peoples overall Internet connection speed and consistency.

    In my opinion we are one generation of Internet connection away before cloud gaming takes over the world (because publishers have said all along you don’t own the game you’ve only ever purchased a license to play said games and they’ll now be able to enforce it). When next gen Internet speeds become the norm I believe cloud service gaming becomes the standard within five years.

    Some may think of that as draconian but there are a bunch of upsides to cloud gaming. The biggest one I can think of is true competitive gaming when we have Internet fast enough where the input difference is minimal for most places in the world. As of now popular games like call of duty and fall guys have had a bunch of cheaters and will have for the foreseeable future because mostly everything is stored client side. With cloud gaming that’s not an issue and while I don’t think anything is “cheat proof” it makes it much more difficult and it may make it easier to detect hardware cheats like specialized controllers that give much greater aim assist than normal.

    Yep. Apple ain’t supporting anything without having their hands in the pie. They’ve purposefully made it a pain for other streaming services simply because there was nothing (or very little) in it for them and they probably have a very real fear that an Xbox or Google streaming service may peel customers away from Apple Arcade or even the App Store in general. It might be a great opportunity for Amazon since they’re the third leg in a two-legged race and giving Apple a substantial portion of the revenue might be worth it if that’s what is happening behind the scenes.
     
  5. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
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    I’m wondering about the revenue issue, too. It’s possible that Amazon made a specific deal with Apple about the controller. Keep in mind, though, that by working through Safari, Amazon had avoided the App Store and the 30% Apple tax. Theoretically there’s nothing stopping Google and Microsoft from using the same system.
     
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  6. JasonLL

    JasonLL Well-Known Member

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    #6 JasonLL, Nov 15, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    I agree and I remember reading a TA article about the Safari loophole a few months back after Apple revised their stance. I guess I’m just a little cynical since the TA opinion pieces implied there may have been a bit of goal post moving on Apple’s part with Microsoft and Google and it seems from the outside that Apple is trying their best to discourage streaming on their platform. Openly supporting the Luna controller after all the drama seems like Amazon might have made a deal that skews heavily in Apple’s favor... but at the end of the day I have no clue until something comes out.

    No matter how things went down it’s great for Amazon at the moment being the lone streaming service on the iOS platform. That’s a ton of visibility that other services probably won’t have access to for awhile.
     
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