The new Luna Cloud Gaming platform from Amazon is supported by Windows servers and Nvidia GPUs. Thanks to this Windows support, Luna supports more than 100 games. This allows developers to quickly move their existing Windows games to an AWS instance and grant subscribers cloud streaming access. This backend Windows support also enables publishers like Ubisoft to host their own digital services (Uplay) on Amazon’s Luna platform.
Amazon has confirmed The edge Luna is running on a standard version of Amazon’s EC2 G4 server instance on Windows, including Nvidia’s T4 GPUs and Intel̵
All of this means it should provide smooth gaming performance at the 1080p resolution that Luna currently supports. 4K, which Amazon says will be available soon, could be more of a challenge for Luna on this hardware, especially without lowering the graphics settings in some demanding games.
Amazon’s main cloud streaming competitors, Microsoft and Google, use completely different hardware and operating systems for their own cloud gaming services. Google chose a custom x86 processor and a custom AMD GPU with 10.7 teraflops of GPU performance, all of which are supported by Linux. Microsoft currently uses Xbox One S hardware in its server blades and only offers 1.4 teraflops of GPU performance, all of which run on the Windows-based custom Xbox operating system. Microsoft has confirmed that xCloud servers will migrate to Xbox Series X hardware in 2021. Sony also uses custom PlayStation hardware for its own PlayStation Now service.
Amazon’s use of Windows software and Nvidia hardware, as well as the acceptance of competing businesses and services, gives Amazon a huge advantage over Google’s rival Stadia service. Stadia has struggled to attract enough content and subscribers to make its model engaging, and Google’s promise of YouTube integration has not been fulfilled. That means there are currently only around 90 games on Stadia, compared to more than 150 on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, more than 100 on Luna, and more than 800 on Nvidia’s GeForce Now service.
Windows makes it a lot easier for developers to move their existing games to Amazon’s Luna service with full support for Nvidia drivers. That should be a lot less work than moving games to Stadia and its Linux servers. This is probably one of the reasons why Amazon already has more than 100 games ready for its Luna service, which was launched in an early access phase.
While Amazon clearly has an interesting cloud platform offering here with content and Twitch integration to back it up, the company must try to convince consumers that a pure game streaming service is worth the money. This is something Stadia has wrestled with established game console makers like Microsoft and Sony who are able to leverage their popular console base and offer game streaming as an add-on.