Amazon Luna review - Head in the clouds

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The Amazon Luna controller

Cloud gaming has been in a little bit of a weird place for a while. Though Xbox Game Pass is still doing well and the Nintendo Switch is continuing to invest in cloud ports, Google Stadia just shuttered. For every advancement, there seems to be a step back.

That being said, the Amazon Luna makes a lot of sense to me. Given they have huge servers running things like Amazon itself and Twitch, they have the facilities to work with something like this. Though I wasn't blown away by everything on offer, I see so much potential here that I'm unsure Amazon will fully tap into.

With a new controller, multiple subscriptions, and tonnes of games to pick from, there's a lot here, though it has some pretty good competition.

In the hands

Starting off with the controller, it is a very familiar feel. The closest comparison I can make is to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, with analogue sticks in opposite corners and a fairly chunky weight like the Xbox controller, but curved grips like the PlayStation controller. It's a competent feel that is very sturdy, if a little unoriginal.

The top of the Amazon Luna controller
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Luckily, controllers don't need to stand out to work, and the Luna controller gets almost nothing wrong. You have the Luna button in the very middle like an Xbox controller, a start button on the right, an information button on the left of it, and a quick mute just under it. It even has a built-in mic that can be used to control Alexa - a nice touch.

Outside of this, a textured grip makes holding it feel great and all buttons have a satisfying click. Unfortunately, the wire that comes packaged with the box is a little short, so you'll want to switch to batteries for most of the time. You can't charge the controller, but can use it exclusively plugged in if that's more your kind of thing. A rechargeable pack would go a long way to making this a slightly better experience.

A subscription

Before deciding on a game to try out, you are bombarded with subscription options. With your Prime Gaming subscription (that comes packaged with Amazon Prime), you have a handful of rotating games every month. Then, after this, you can pick up the Luna+ subscription for just under £10 a month, which comes with just over 100 games.

After this, you can pick up Ubisoft+ for £14.99 a month, which comes with the majority of modern Ubisoft games. This is a tempting package, but is the most expensive subscription Luna offers. Finally, you can pick up the Jackbox games subscription for £3.99 a month. This comes with all nine Jackbox games and Drawful 2.

If you want to have all subscriptions present with Luna right now, you have to pay just under £30 a month, which is a pretty hefty fee, alongside the cost of the controller, and an internet connection good enough to run it. In comparison, Xbox Game Pass is £12.99 a month, comes with more games, and has cloud saves that link back to your Xbox or PC when in use. Though Luna does come with cloud saves, you can't swap devices for a better gaming experience in connection outages. This makes it a bit of a tough sell.

In use


The Amazon Luna performs admirably when you have decent connectivity. With low latency and a fast boot-up, it's hard to fault how it operates in practice. Games run smoothly and it can be connected to a phone, tablet, laptop, or TV. As well as this, you can play co-op games with friends from a distance, even if they don't have Luna. This is one of the best parts of the Amazon Luna experience, and works great with the Jackbox subscription.

The back of the Amazon Luna controller
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Games run at 1080p, but do come with a 720p option for decreased data usage. This means you won't beat out a gaming PC, but you will have a very solid experience. Luna doesn't seem like the type of service to appeal to the more hardcore gamers, but it is a very attractive package for those who want a quick gaming break on a long commute or a game in before bed.

Amazon Luna
Though it doesn't feel particularly original in concept or design, the Amazon Luna controller is nice and the games library is varied and interesting, even though Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers a more attractive combination of the two.

An Amazon Luna controller and access to the Amazon Luna service was provided by Amazon.

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