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Home / Technology / A closer look at Amazon’s cloud gaming service Luna

A closer look at Amazon’s cloud gaming service Luna



First, the entire “Android is coming soon” business.

Amazon's cloud gaming service Luna.

Amazon

Android availability

Initially, Luna will be trialed on Fire TV, PC, Mac and iOS devices (including iPhone and iPad). It is worth noting that it will not be available on Android immediately. Luna principal Marc Whitten said that the Android version should be online “within a few weeks”

; after the early access version is released.

Whitton and other Luna executives do not The temporary iOS exclusivity is attributed to Amazon’s mysterious sweetheart deal with Apple. Prime Video allows Prime Video to sell media directly on the App Store without giving Apple 30% of sales. The 30% price cut is actually the standard for all other paid programs in the iOS market, and this is one of the main reasons Epic Games sued Apple this year.

Executives also do not Attributed the first release of iOS to xCloud’s temporary exclusive rights on the Android platform. Microsoft said that Microsoft’s game streaming platform xCloud is not available on iOS because it charges a 30% fee, and Apple “has always treated game applications differently and has adopted more relaxed rules for non-game applications. “.

With Luna, Amazon found another way to circumvent Apple’s App Store fees. Luna is a Progressive Web Application (PWA), which means that it is actually a browser-based program pretending to be a local iOS application. You will download the PWA from the Luna website, and the icon displayed on the iPhone home screen will function like a shortcut to the Amazon Web game portal.

As a PWA, Luna does not participate in the App Store at all.

Whitten said: “On iOS, it is super transparent, it is implemented through the browser.” “So it is not a native application in the App Store.”

Epic tried a similar approach when it was sold Fort night It will be released outside of Google Play since 2018. This is the only way for Android users to play games in 18 months Fort night You can visit the game’s website and download the proprietary launcher from there, or get the launcher through Samsung’s dedicated app store. This is a trivial solution, in April this year, Epic barely added Fort night Google Play, and accept 30% fees for all transactions.

At the time, Epic told edge“Google uses technical and commercial measures, such as the terrible download and update of software, repeated security pop-up windows, restrictive manufacturer and operator agreements and transactions, and third-party relations from Google’s technical and commercial public relations Measures put software that can be downloaded from outside Google Play at a disadvantage. As malware, new efforts such as Google Play Protect completely block software obtained outside the Google Play store.

Epic didn’t even try to start Fort night Outside the App Store ecosystem, it cited Apple’s final restriction policy on third-party markets and its monopoly control over the iOS platform. Both Epic and Microsoft are aware of the existence of PWA-Microsoft and Google are even working together to improve the PWA experience in the Play Store-but they have been reluctant or unable to use this approach to provide their mobile gaming services.

Honestly, this is not surprising. As Fort night Experiments have proved that even if they try to operate outside of the App or Play Store, Epic and Microsoft often encounter obstacles from Apple and Google. On September 11, Apple revised its App Store guidelines to show respect for game streaming services such as xCloud, but even these new rules are impractical. They require users to download the container for each game they want to play individually from the App Store, even when trying to access them through streaming services like xCloud. This authorization does not apply to Luna.

Microsoft responded to the rule change that day, saying: “This is still a bad experience for customers.” xCloud is still not on iOS, and Fort night As Epic is caught in a lawsuit with Apple and Google, it is no longer available on the App Store or Google Play.

With Luna PWA, Amazon once again avoided obstacles that have proven to be insurmountable for companies such as Microsoft and Epic.

George Tsipolitis, head of engineering at Luna, said: “We worked with the Safari team to ensure that certain things that did not exist in it existed, which allowed us to enter where we are today.”

It is not clear whether Luna will still retain the PWA after its early trial period, or whether it will eventually join the app store at a standard fee of 30%.

Wheaton said: “We will continue to work with Apple.” “We are happy to provide a native experience. They are evaluating their policies, they have been talking about them. When we can provide a good experience there, we will also provide this Kind of experience.”

Amazon's Luna cloud gamepad.

Amazon

price

Luna’s early access fee is $5.99 USD (at least). This price unlocks access to Luna+, which is a benchmark channel containing a variety of games, including Resident Evil 7, control, Tacoma, Rez Unlimited, Metro Exodus, Sexy Brutal, It’s too cooked! 2 And others. Not all titles listed will be available on the first day, but they are all in the Early Access record.

Luna will have more channels with selected content, but each channel requires additional fees, but the cost is unknown. The first confirmed channel comes from Ubisoft, which includes various games in the publisher’s catalog and the same-day release of upcoming games, including Far Cry 6, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with Rise of the Immortal Fairy.

Amazon’s goal is to provide about 100 games in the early beta period and spread them between Luna+ and Ubisoft channels.

Luna Business Development Manager Lisa Schwenke said: “More than Stadia and more than Game Pass.” Microsoft recently integrated xCloud into its Game Pass Ultimate subscription service and offers more than 150 streamable media games, while Stadia has about 90. , Some of them are purchased separately. Schwenke continued: “Our goal is to continue to provide something for everyone, see what customers like, and try to bring more. Therefore, it must be smaller at the beginning of Early Access. I think our Luna Plus There are about 50 titles in the channel, and about 50 titles in the Ubisoft channel, and it keeps increasing over time.”

The channel method of live game streaming is borrowed from Amazon’s Prime Video experience, which provides certain TV stations as a paid supplement. In other words, Luna will evolve with the progress of early access and the development of feedback.

Marc Whitten, head of Amazon Luna, said: “You may even see other types of channels, such as genre-based channels.” “Or thinking in other ways may be very attractive to certain customer groups. Specific content.”

Amazon stipulates that during the early access period, the price of Luna+ subscription is $5.99 per month, so the base price may change with the release of Luna 1.0.


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