Luna, a service that allows gamers to play without searching for expensive game consoles or games, is Amazon’s largest foray into the fast-growing $ 150 billion video game market to date. A subscription to the Luna channel costs $ 5.99 per month during an introductory period and includes games like Resident Evil 7, Control, and Panzer Dragoon.
The offer, which is initially available to invited testers, will measure itself against competing services that have been offered by Google, Microsoft Corp. in recent years. and Nvidia Corp. introduced by Alphabet Inc.
It’s a long-awaited debut for Amazon, which operates the largest network of on-demand software services through its cloud division, Amazon Web Services. The company also has long-standing ambitions to expand its video game entertainment franchise beyond Twitch, the player-centric internet live streaming company it acquired in 201
Dave Limp, senior vice president who leads Amazon’s devices and services group, said close ties to Twitch, as well as seamless streaming of games enabled by Amazon’s cloud computing group, would help the company become gamers address that are not served by high-end consoles.
“We didn’t build this to displace consoles, they’re here, they’re going to be here for a long, long time,” he said. “We built it to attract a different kind of audience. We ‘ve got to get it out there and prove ourselves.”
Amazon announced the game streaming program on a device presentation. The company has hosted these events over the past few years to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to smart speakers and associated voice software. The company invented this market with its Echo device and Alexa software.
Echo speakers and other smart home devices were consumer electronics favorites a few years ago, but their growth has slowed recently. The Covid-19 pandemic gives Amazon an opportunity to revive growth after millions of consumers work and study from home.
Amazon has a head start in selling smart speakers over rivals like Google and Apple Inc. In recent years, the company has tried to expand Alexa’s domain beyond typical interactions like answering trivia or reading the weather, and adding high-end Introducing music streaming devices and the Internet -connected home appliances and connections to automakers.
Amazon on Thursday attempted to bring its devices beyond the originally adopted cylindrical design of smart speakers. At the event, the company presented new, spherical models of its best-selling Echo and Echo Dot speakers. Amazon also launched a revamped 10-inch Echo Show, essentially a smart speaker with a tablet screen.
Surprisingly, the company also unveiled a flying video camera from its ring security unit, the Ring Always Home Cam. The device, which will be available in 2021 and priced at $ 250, is designed to zoom around the house on preset routes to investigate suspicious incidents.
Amazon said the device will only record video in flight, one of a series of allusions to privacy during Thursday’s presentation. Amazon’s Alexa and Ring have been criticized by privacy advocates for security vulnerabilities and failure to disclose the role of human auditors of audio and video recordings.
Limp emphasized the company’s work to give users control over their devices and data, including through new end-to-end encryption protocols for Ring videos and proactive prompts for Alexa users to review privacy settings. “I have a house full of our products,” he said. “And it’s important to me.”
The Luna service will be available for Windows and Apple computers, smartphones and tablets, and for Amazon’s FireTV streaming sticks. For iPhone and iPad users, access is only possible via the Internet using Apple’s iOS operating system. The offer will also be available “soon” on Google’s Android platform, said Amazon. Users can play with a keyboard and mouse, or with a Luna controller that costs $ 50.
Support from big game publishers “is low,” wrote Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, in a message to customers. He’s skeptical that Luna will be successful with a subscription business model, but expects Amazon to adjust its offering over time.
Amazon’s device unit had already made two major announcements in the past few weeks. The first introduced the Halo Band, a wrist-worn wellness tracker that Amazon said could assess your emotional well-being by analyzing the tone of your voice.
The company also offered more information on Amazon Sidewalk, a low-bandwidth wireless communication protocol that can be used to connect devices outside of reliable Wi-Fi range and potentially join a network together for other Internet of Things devices.