Here Comes Another Game Streaming Service, Amazon Luna
A Nicer Backend Than Google Stadia
Amazon is getting into the game streaming business with Luna, powering the instances with Nvidia T4 GPUs with contain 320 Turing Tensor cores. A subscription will also come with a wireless controller, which connects directly to Luna over WiFi as opposed to connecting to a local base station and then to the streaming service. Windows users will install a client, while Apple users will have to play via a web browser thanks to certain limits imposed by Apple on game streaming applications.
There are two big initial differences between Stadia and Luna, the first of which is the 50 games available for early access users which will rise to 100 upon official launch. The second is the effort developers will need to put into porting games to Luna. That extra work is why titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be available on Stadia until after it has been launched on other platforms; though Amazon didn’t mention when Luna users might see that game in their list either.
Amazon Luna will also let you play with friends as you can use up to four of those wireless controllers in the same room, similar to modern consoles. One drawback to the service is that as of now there is no way to take your save games from Luna to another platform, though Amazon assured Ars Technica they are looking into supporting that feature.
Luna's server architecture is significantly different from that of Google's Stadia, which uses Linux-based data servers and Vulkan's open source graphics APIs. That means extra work for Stadia developers who have to port their existing games to Stadia's environment, which can sometimes lead to apparent graphical snafus.
More Tech News From Around The Web
- TSMC to ramp up 3nm chip production starting 2H22 @ Digitimes
- India shows off new home-grown CPU – but at 100MHz, 32-bit and 180nm, it’s a bit of a clunker @ The Register
- Apple Watch Series 6 Review: Still the best smartwatch, but tracking is lacking @ Ars Technica
- Seagate Unveils CORTX Object Storage Software with Lyve Drive Rack Hardware Reference Design @ Slashdot
- Giant Gundam Robot In Japan Makes Its First Moves @ Slashdot
- You know that Microsoft ZeroLogon bug you’ve been dragging your feet on? It’s getting pwned in the wild now @ The Register
- This Week In Security: UTorrent Vulnerable, Crowd-Sourcing Your Fail2Ban, And Cryptographers At Casinos @ Hackaday
Is it going to work this time?
Oh look, another game-streaming service nobody will use:
– Those who can afford a good enough connection (sufficient bandwidth, bandwidth limits, and no dodgy latency variance), live in a country affluent enough to have a local and thus sufficiently low latency datacentre, and can afford a monthly fee (plus potentially double-charging for buying a ‘virtual copy’ of games to stream), are the same people who can afford at least one actual physical console and/or PC that can run games locally for a much better experience, and potentially much cheaper games( due to discounting and second hand sales).
– Those who cannot even hope to afford a second hand console, also cannot afford the monthly costs of both a decent internet connection and a game streaming service fee.
Oh, and: like every other streaming or DRM-ed download service – e.g. PlaysForSure, Desura, OnePlay, et al – if (when) they go belly-up, you lose everything.