While we don’t really cover Amazon Luna too much on Chrome Unboxed, it’s primarily because most of us here use other services like Stadia, GeForce Now, and Steam Link. I did try out Luna back when it first launched, and I wasn’t too impressed. Perhaps it’s time I give it another chance since it’s now adding Chromebook support, and more. This will open up the service to millions of additional potential subscribers, and that alone is exciting. As the cloud gaming space heats up, it’s nice to see Amazon remain in the ring, despite their failed attempts at making MMORPGs.
In a Medium blog post today, Gabi Knight, Luna’s Director, recapped the service’s success over the last year and took time to introduce some new features. First, and as I said before, Chromebook owners can now play right on their laptop or tablet device. Previously, they had to spoof the device identification with a User Agent Switcher extension in Chrome, because Amazon went the same route as Nvidia at first – locking it into specific web browsers, and bringing support to its competition later.
Of course, Luna works much in the same way as Google’s Stadia – no download, no updates, just click and play games like Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six, and even Capcom’s Mega Man 11 across a number of devices like PCs, Macs, Fire TVs, iOS and Android phones and tablets, and more. It’s great to see Chromebooks finally receive official support, but I’m not going to lie – I think I’m annoyed that it wasn’t added from the get-go, and I think many didn’t even give Luna a first look due to this restriction.
Later this year, Ubisoft+ subscribers will be able to play Far Cry 6 and Rider’s Republic among many other titles from the publisher when they release later this year. The Ubisoft+ Channel already includes 30 of its other games, and if you subscribe to it by September 29, 2021, you can lock into the current $14.99 per month beta pricing before it jumps up to $17.99 on the 30th. One thing that was announced that gets me excited to try the service again is a new retro-focused gaming channel that will be added soon. It will feature titles from Atari, SNK, and more. Think games like Another World, Dragon’s Lair, and King of Fighters. All of these will be available in high-definition too!
Family Games for Chromebook users
Because Chromebooks have had a firm footing over the past two decades with families and students, you may be pleased to hear that Amazon is launching a new Family Channel for just $2.99. It will give you access to 35 games, all of which you’ll find below, and which have been hand-picked to be appropriate for families. Oh, and more importantly, since families are meant to play together, you’ll also get access to local co-op play in HD for up to two devices at a time.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated
- Garfield Kart – Furious Racing
- Space Otter Charlie
- DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders
- Transformers: Battlegrounds
- SkateBIRD (launching later this month)
- more coming soon…
Speaking of local co-op, ‘Luna Couch‘ is launching to make it easier to play with the ones you love (or to compete against your friends!). Couch lets you play the local mode for games like Team Sonic Racing and Overcooked 2 and more without having to be physically present with one another. Basically, it’s a virtual couch! In fact, the other person doesn’t even have to be a Luna subscriber, which is pretty cool.
It really brings back the good old days of sitting together at a friend’s house and gaming, only now, you’re not sitting at a friend’s house gaming…erm, wait. All jokes aside, this feature is awesome, and I’m glad this type of gameplay is making a comeback, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Technology is truly amazing!
Anyways, if you want to try all of this and more with Luna on your Chromebook, you can actually get a free 7-day trial with Amazon Prime right now between today, September 9, 2021, and September 15, 2021 (Mainland U.S. only), which includes four games – Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition, Metro Exodus, Katamari Damacy REROLL, and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. I’m personally tempted due to these new feature additions, but Stadia has all of these games and more, so it’s a hard sell for existing subscribers to Google’s service. Either way, Chromebook support means that there are now more options for cloud gaming, and families can definitely benefit from this, so I wanted to make you all aware!