Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service didn’t exactly impress us when it debuted in early access last October, but the company’s still expanding its test. On Thursday, it’s bringing its limited catalog of games to Chromebooks and Amazon Fire tablets, and opening up some new ways to try the service without paying its $6 or $15 monthly fees.
Technically, the service is still in early access — most people have to request access to play, and only in the contiguous United States. But Amazon’s extending its immediate approval signups to its own Fire tablets, the same way it extended them to Fire TV devices. By the way, there’s a new one of those today: Amazon also just announced its new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which comes with a special auto low-latency mode for Amazon Luna that might help with performance. You can buy it bundled with a Luna Controller for $99.
But even if you don’t have an Amazon device, the company’s making Luna easier to try. There’s a new “Luna Couch” mode that lets you accept an invite code from a friend to play local multiplayer games including Team Sonic Racing and Overcooked 2 even if you aren’t a subscriber. And until September 15th, Amazon will let anyone with a Prime account in the contiguous US play Resident Evil 7, Metro Exodus, Katamari Damacy Reroll, and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom for free, no need for a Luna account at all.
And if $6 a month for Amazon’s standard “Luna+” collection of games is too much to ask, there’s a new $2.99 a month Family Channel today you could subscribe to instead. Amazon describes it as “a curated collection of games appropriate and approachable for gamers of all ages” with 35 games, including “SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, Garfield Kart – Furious Racing, Space Otter Charlie, DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders, Transformers: Battlegrounds,” and a title called Skatebird coming later this month.
You should also know that the price of Amazon Luna’s Ubisoft channel is going up on September 30th, though, to $17.99 a month. If by some chance you’re a lapsed subscriber, you’ve got until the 29th to lock in the current $14.99 per month pricing in time for the day and date releases of Far Cry 6 and Riders Republic in October.
There’s also a new retro gaming channel coming “soon,” with pricing TBD, that will include Another World, Dragon’s Lair, The King of Fighters, and others from publishers like Atari and SNK, according to Amazon.