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Amazon announces 'Luna', their own take on cloud game streaming

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Stadia, GeForce NOW and Microsoft's own xCloud have more competition coming with Amazon formally throwing their controller onto the sofa with Amazon Luna.

Amazon Luna will give you access to certain Channels of games which you subscribe to. The first two announced are Amazon's own Luna+ to get access to a "growing" library and Ubisoft are also confirmed to have their own subscription channel coming to it too. The Luna+ subscription will have 100s of games from big names too like Resident Evil 7, Control, The Surge 2, A Plague Tale: Innocence and a great many more. By the time it launches, it's going to have quite a full library already.

Instead of the Stadia and GeForce NOW model, they're very much going for a 'Netflix of games' style that Microsoft is doing with things like Game Pass. Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will have its own dedicated Alexa-enabled gamepad which connects directly to Amazon through WiFi which is supposed to help reduce latency which is the biggest problem with these services.

Luna will come with heavy Twitch integration too, including showing you Twitch streams for games across the Luna service. This makes sense, since Amazon own Twitch. This is where it gets really interesting, and something Google has been ridiculously slow on with Stadia. You will see Twitch streams inside Luna, and be able to click play and jump right into a game while watching on Twitch. The power of that cannot be understated.

Currently, early access to Luna is available exclusively by invitation and even then that's only in the USA. Everyone else will just have to sit and wait until Amazon open it up further.

It's not clear if it will work on Linux or be supported at this time. However, Amazon did mention it can be played in a Chrome browser so it's quite likely it will be able to run on Linux just like Stadia and GeForce NOW. Full press release available here and you can find the Luna page here. Once we find out more and any Linux details, we will let you know.

How long until Valve throw their Steam Controller onto the sofa and announce their own? If they don't, they might end up as one of the only major gaming stores not to at this rate. The cloud game streaming wars have truly begun now. How do you feel about it?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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46 comments
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Mohandevir 25 Sep
In fact, what is really sad, imo, it's that cloud gaming is an excellent opportunity to create new techs and get out of the DX-Windows paradigm. If these cloud providers could work together with open source techs, they could do some fascinating stuff that Microsoft alone can't do. But no, they prefer easy solutions with their limitations and perpetuate the vendor lock-ins (Amazon-Nvidia-Microsoft).

I wonder how they expect to solve an issue if it's related to the underlying OS? Cry in Microsoft's ear and wait for an approximate solution not custom tailored for their needs, instead of taking care of the issue themselves? Windows has unsolved issues that goes back to Windows XP and beyond... Oh well...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 25 September 2020 at 2:54 pm UTC
WJMazepas 25 Sep
Quoting: kuhpunktKinda worried about the future honestly... so much fragmentation, everybody wants its own thing.

Well, that happens every time there is a new market in ascension. In the future some of then will close and we will see 2~3 still existing when cloud gaming matures.

We can look at console history to see a lot of companies that tried to be on this market and failed, leading to what we have today
randyl 25 Sep
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Quoting: flesk
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: Liam DaweNot that it matters to the vast majority (us Linux fans don't count for much...) it's based on Windows https://twitter.com/JeffGrubb/status/1309271277325049856?s=20

I wonder, should we jump on the stadia train for now? I mean, they are the only one who kinda support us for now... Do you think that a strong stadia will encourage more devs to go for Linux ?

Stadia unquestionably has more positive repercussions for us, since it forces developers to adapt to Linux and Vulkan, whereas Luna makes that completely irrelevant. No matter what you think of streaming, Stadia is clearly a better deal for our ecosystem than Luna or GeForce Now.
That may be true in some cases but not true in a lot of other cases. It seems like the compatibility layers and shims to make Windows games run on Linux could be the biggest benefit. Destiny 2 was not written with Linux in mind as far as I know, but ran really well on Stadia. Is Google sharing that technology openly with the rest of Linux land? If not and it isn't GPL, then Google isn't doing much to move things forward at all in my opinion.
randyl 25 Sep
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: elmapulbtw, purple is my favorite collor, so this background is automagically beautyfull
and the name is a perfect fit.

but the controller, looks like some one just glued togheter 2 pieces to pretend they were just one...
hopefully i'm right and you can change the base depending on your hands size...
I heartily endorse the purpleness of it.
The controller has a bit of purple theme going, too, so it's not all bad.
That controller is the spitting image of an Xbox One wireless controller with an extra mic button below the main "Xbox/Luna" button and the 3 control buttons (mic, menu, meta) arranged in a triangle. I have this one in blue/gray. https://www.xbox.com/en-US/accessories/controllers/grey-blue
Mohandevir 25 Sep
Quoting: randyl
Quoting: flesk
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: Liam DaweNot that it matters to the vast majority (us Linux fans don't count for much...) it's based on Windows https://twitter.com/JeffGrubb/status/1309271277325049856?s=20

I wonder, should we jump on the stadia train for now? I mean, they are the only one who kinda support us for now... Do you think that a strong stadia will encourage more devs to go for Linux ?

Stadia unquestionably has more positive repercussions for us, since it forces developers to adapt to Linux and Vulkan, whereas Luna makes that completely irrelevant. No matter what you think of streaming, Stadia is clearly a better deal for our ecosystem than Luna or GeForce Now.
That may be true in some cases but not true in a lot of other cases. It seems like the compatibility layers and shims to make Windows games run on Linux could be the biggest benefit. Destiny 2 was not written with Linux in mind as far as I know, but ran really well on Stadia. Is Google sharing that technology openly with the rest of Linux land? If not and it isn't GPL, then Google isn't doing much to move things forward at all in my opinion.

You right in saying that Stadia doesn't push Linux desktop adoption, but we benefit from Google's contribution to open source. They regularly push patches upstream that benefits to Linux desktop.

As for the specific case of Destiny 2, I may be wrong, but the problem is well known, if I remember correctly. It's related to Destiny's custom anti-cheat. It's been removed in the Stadia build and it's what causes a lot of problem on the desktop.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 25 September 2020 at 6:11 pm UTC
randyl 25 Sep
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Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: randyl
Quoting: flesk
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: Liam DaweNot that it matters to the vast majority (us Linux fans don't count for much...) it's based on Windows https://twitter.com/JeffGrubb/status/1309271277325049856?s=20

I wonder, should we jump on the stadia train for now? I mean, they are the only one who kinda support us for now... Do you think that a strong stadia will encourage more devs to go for Linux ?

Stadia unquestionably has more positive repercussions for us, since it forces developers to adapt to Linux and Vulkan, whereas Luna makes that completely irrelevant. No matter what you think of streaming, Stadia is clearly a better deal for our ecosystem than Luna or GeForce Now.
That may be true in some cases but not true in a lot of other cases. It seems like the compatibility layers and shims to make Windows games run on Linux could be the biggest benefit. Destiny 2 was not written with Linux in mind as far as I know, but ran really well on Stadia. Is Google sharing that technology openly with the rest of Linux land? If not and it isn't GPL, then Google isn't doing much to move things forward at all in my opinion.

You right in saying that Stadia doesn't push Linux desktop adoption, but we benefit from Google's contribution to open source. They regularly push patches upstream that benefits to Linux desktop.

As for the specific case of Destiny 2, I may be wrong, but the problem is well known, if I remember correctly. It's related to Destiny's custom anti-cheat. It's been removed in the Stadia build and it's what causes a lot of problem on the desktop.
I think you're right. I asked about this on Discord and it was explained that the developers need to make a Stadia Linux compatible binary that can leverage Angle and the various DX compatible API translators like DXVK. So with Stadia everything is basically running natively against their Stadia Linux build. Now we just need to encourage studios and publishers to sell that build on other store fronts like Steam, Humble, GoG, etc.
brokeassben 25 Sep
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well it'll run on Windows instances, so that's a unfortunate.
Shmerl 25 Sep
Quoting: brokeassbenwell it'll run on Windows instances, so that's a unfortunate.

Amazon were too lazy to put an effort in it like Google did. So they are just spreading MS lock-in in practice.


Last edited by Shmerl on 25 September 2020 at 9:26 pm UTC
14 26 Sep
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Quoting: kuhpunktKinda worried about the future honestly... so much fragmentation, everybody wants its own thing.
Eh, that's temporary. There will be 2-3 real players in the end and the others will fail or get purchased by the bigger guys.

I wonder which cloud provider Nvidia uses. The other three game streaming services also own their own "cloud." I wonder if Nvidia is using their own data centers or if they're utilizing one of the other guys'.

On to my opinion of this new service: No thanks. I'll pass. Amazon is already too big and it's starting to get sickening.
CatKiller 26 Sep
Quoting: fleskStadia unquestionably has more positive repercussions for us, since it forces developers to adapt to Linux and Vulkan, whereas Luna makes that completely irrelevant. No matter what you think of streaming, Stadia is clearly a better deal for our ecosystem than Luna or GeForce Now.

It's just a shame that it's not as good for either developers or customers as the competing services.

For developers, they have to go to the effort of porting to Linux, which they don't have to do for the competitors.

For customers, you don't have access to games you've bought elsewhere, and you lose access to games that you've bought should you lose access to Stadia, which comes from the notoriously-fickle Google.

Which means that it won't have as much impact on the part we care about - game devs getting more experience with Linux gaming and Vulkan - as if it were a more competitive offering.
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