Amazon Luna vs. Xbox Game Pass: What’s the difference?

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Amazon Luna vs. Xbox Game Pass. Find out where you can stream your favorite games

For big tech companies, the next evolution in video games isn’t through new consoles, but through the cloud. Microsoft is using its library and Xbox platform as the foundation to turn Xbox GamePass into a great streaming service, currently called “Cloud gaming (Beta) with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate”. Meanwhile, newcomers to video games like Amazon and Google are entering the space, with Amazon launching its game streaming service Luna.

While the race for a Netflix-style game streaming service is in its early stages, here’s what you need to know to compare Amazon Luna and Xbox Game Pass.

General findings

Amazon Luna

  • Subscription to the Luna + games channel is required to access the games.
  • Works with AWS technology.
  • Integration with Twitch streaming.

Xbox Game Pass

  • Cloud streaming is included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
  • It is powered by xCloud technology from the Microsoft project.

Microsoft’s game streaming offering leverages the Xbox Game Pass library and the company’s project xCloud technology. With the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan, subscribers can stream most games from the extensive Xbox Game Pass catalog to their phone at no additional cost. Conversely, Amazon Luna is not included in an Amazon Prime subscription. Players will therefore need to subscribe to a separate Luna + plan.

What Luna and Game Pass have in common is that users don’t have to purchase the games separately. Although subscribers do not “own” the games they play through these services, they will have free access to these catalogs as long as their subscriptions are active. The points of difference between Luna and Game Pass are the breadth and depth of their game libraries and the devices these users can play them on.

Games library: Each department has its own niche

Amazon Luna

  • Luna + channel subscription includes free access to over 100 games.
  • Third party game channels are available through additional subscriptions.

Xbox Game Pass

  • Includes Xbox first game titles (i.e. Halo and Forza Motorsport).
  • The game library includes free access to “most” of the more than 200 Xbox Game Pass titles.
  • Rotating selection of third-party titles from other publishers.

Microsoft has amassed an extensive game roster for Xbox Game Pass during the year, with all titles from Xbox Game studios available alongside many third-party games. Fans of Halo, Gears of War, Forza Motorsport and other Xbox exclusive titles will be able to play all of their favorite games at no additional cost. Much like video streaming services like Netflix, these third-party titles come in and out of Xbox Game Pass due to trade deals.

The Xbox team boasts over 200 titles on Xbox Game Pass, and “most” of these games are available to stream. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also begin integrating games from the EA Play service as part of a deal, giving Xbox owners the ability to stream EA’s selection of sports, racing and action titles. .

Amazon doesn’t have Microsoft’s two decades of game publishing experience, but the tech giant has nonetheless made deals with leading game publishers and independent game developers to build its own library. Popular blockbuster games such as Control, Resident Evil 7 and Metro Exodus are part of the Luna + game channel’s offering. Indie games such as Overcooked 2 and Furi also diversify the library.

Unlike Xbox Game Pass, Luna offers additional game channels from other publishers. The first of those channels is Ubisoft, which will include AAA games such as Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in its game channel. However, these separate channels require their own subscription plans.

Device Support: With Workarounds, Luna supports more devices

Amazon Luna

  • Windows 10 (with support for DirectX 11).
  • macOS 10.13 or higher.
  • Fire TV Stick (2nd generation), Fire TV Stick 4K, or Fire TV Cube (2nd generation).
  • Chrome desktop web browser, version 83 or higher.
  • Safari mobile web browser on iOS14 or higher.

Xbox Game Pass

  • Android device with version 6.0 or higher.

In the respective launches of Xbox Game Pass Streaming and Amazon Luna, neither service has overlapping supported devices. While both services will grow over time, any consumer who wants to try out both Game Pass and Luna will need more than one device to do so.

When Microsoft launched the beta of Project xCloud as a prelude to game streaming on Xbox Game Pass, the service was compatible with Android and iOS devices. When cloud gaming for Game Pass launched, Android phones were still the only platform that supported the service. Due to Apple App Store guidelines, Xbox Game Pass game streaming is not available on iOS devices. Microsoft has said cloud streaming for Xbox Game Pass will eventually be available on Xbox consoles and PCs.

Amazon Luna will rely on the guidelines of the App Store by offering its streaming services through a web application; thus, Luna will be playable on iPhone and iPad. However, Luna will not be compatible with Android when launched. Luna will also be able to use a native Luna app on PC, Mac, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Both PC and Mac users will be able to play on their Google Chrome browser.

Internet Requirements: Both have good speeds, Luna can be a ‘data hog

Amazon Luna

  • Support 2.4GHz connection.
  • 5 GHz connection recommended.
  • 10 Mbps connection speed required.
  • 35 Mbps connection speed required to play in 4K.
  • “Up to” 10 GB of data per hour at 1080p.

Xbox Game Pass

  • 2.4 GHz networks may receive interference.
  • 5 GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
  • 10 Mbps connection speed required.
  • Using more than 2 GB of data per hour.

Data caps are a valid concern for anyone considering playing games exclusively through online streaming. It is possible to play on Amazon Luna and Xbox Game pass with 5 GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connections. 2.4 GHz connections are possible, but 5 GHz is still recommended for both services, as 2.4 GHz networks can have latency issues.

Luna and Game Passes both require a 10 Mbps connection speed down. Amazon does note, however, that 4K gaming will require a connection speed of at least 35 Mbps. You will need a fast internet connection to take advantage of high resolutions.

Amazon Says Luna’s Data Usage “Up To” 10GB per hour for 1080p gaming, although no official information is yet available on data usage for 4K gaming. .

Controller input: Even the controller support is different

Amazon Luna

  • Luna controller.
  • Xbox One controller.
  • PlayStation DualShock 4.
  • Mouse and keyboard.

Xbox Game Pass

  • Xbox wireless controller.
  • MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller.
  • Razer Kishi.
  • 8BitDo SN30 Pro.

Naturally, Xbox users can use their existing Xbox One game controller for Xbox Game Pass streaming. However, only Xbox controllers that came with or after the Xbox One S will be compatible, as Xbox controllers from there are Bluetooth compatible. This includes the controllers that come with the Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

Microsoft is also touting third-party controllers designed specifically for streaming Xbox Game Pass games. The MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller looks like a traditional Xbox controller, but it includes a clip for your Android phone and a power bank. Razer Kishi attaches the controllers to the side of your phone, making your device look like a Nintendo Switch. And the SBitDo SN30 Pro is a “retro” controller that also includes a clip for mobile device.

Meanwhile, Amazon has designed its own Luna controller, most of the buttons and design features of which are the same as on an Xbox or Nintendo Switch Pro controller. Rather than connecting via Bluetooth, the Luna controller connects directly to Amazon’s game servers via wi-fi. The controller also has an Alexa button for voice assistant functions. Players can use the controller between all supported devices without interruption.

Alternatively, Luna users can also use an Xbox One controller, PlayStation DualShock 4 controller, or mouse and keyboard. Luna controller owners can use their controller via Bluetooth or USB connection for other devices, but it will be incompatible with other game consoles.

Graphics performance: Luna offers better quality

Amazon Luna

  • Games are streamed at 1080p.
  • 4K support for “selected titles” will be available soon.

Xbox Game Pass

All game streaming services would like to mention that games run on their own custom servers, rather than your local device. In theory, companies like Amazon and Microsoft believe this will allow them to deliver high-quality graphics to your devices, provided your internet connection is compatible.

When Microsoft’s project xCloud was in beta, the service only supported a resolution of 720p at 60Hz. Games could look more blurry than on TV, but it did get better frame rates. fluids.

On the other hand, Amazon claims Luna can support 1080p and 60fps resolutions right off the bat. The team behind Luna also mentions that the “selected titles” will have 4K support, but that will not be possible for launch.

Final verdict: the newcomer versus the establishment

On paper, Amazon Luna may sound more technically impressive than Xbox Game Pass. And while Amazon isn’t necessarily a brand associated with video games, the company is more of a household name. At the same time, Microsoft has nearly two decades of video game experience through the Xbox brand. As such, Xbox already has a massive integrated audience and a large base to work with.

Microsoft envisions the Xbox as an ecosystem between consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. No matter what device you use, Microsoft wants to give you access to the same library. And the Xbox Game Pass Library is a force to be reckoned with, growing week by week, and coming in great value for a relatively modest price tag. More casual gamers who haven’t invested in the Xbox or even PlayStation and Nintendo consoles may need to consider Amazon Luna as their first home game. However, those who already own consoles and subscribe to Xbox Game Pass are more likely to try Microsoft’s game streaming feature rather than subscribe to a new service like Amazon Luna.

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