Gaming is undeniably moving to the cloud. Game developers are finding ways to allow users to stream their games in real time without having to download big files to their device before playing. It’s a bit like what Netflix did for movies and television.
People are used to the experience of playing games online within their browser, and this extends to the games people play in online casinos. When you visit an online casino to try out a slot or table igame, you can enter a BetMGM casino promo code, for example, and get going in a matter of seconds. You don’t have to keep installing software to get the most out of gaming, and when you want to switch games you can do so in your browser.
In recent years, many people have got used to playing games that cropped up in the “.io” domain, like the addictive Slither.io. This has quite limited functionality but it has the convenience of in-browser play from your mobile or laptop.
Big companies have recognized the need to offer their users a way to play on the cloud. Xbox owners who have a Game Pass membership can enjoy many games on their console by streaming them via the cloud without needing to download anything to their console first.
As time has gone on, there have definitely been some competitors cropping up that have tried to push the boundaries of what is possible, and recent years have seen a shift in the gaming industry.
Google Stadia is one such example, and it shows that huge companies are trying to get a piece of the mega gaming industry. Recent games like Young Souls are available on Stadia as well as Xbox.
Amazon Luna has a distinct advantage over Stadia though, in that it can be used in browser.
Amazon Luna and its chances of success
So, do Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation Now, and other cloud-based platforms need to be worried?
Though Luna’s progress hasn’t been the most high-profile, Amazon has quietly been building an incredible platform with lots of amazing games that can be played within your browser.
The Luna browser gaming launch has been a little on the slow side in some respects. For example, it is not available all over the world yet, so as things stand at the moment, you need to be in the US in order to play these games.
The platform offers a variety of different subscription plans and gaming “channels”, as well as a rotating selection of games that come free with a Prime membership.
While the sort of games that require huge processing power aren’t yet available – don’t expect to play the latest GTA or Call of Duty in your browser any time soon – there are a number of complex games that you can enjoy.
The Luna controller, available from Amazon, is really impressive, and it allows you to enjoy even more functionality. It reduces roundtrip latency by 17 to 30 milliseconds and connects directly to the cloud.
You can cleverly move from one screen to the next, whether you are using an iPad, Fire TV, or a Windows or Mac computer. This kind of incredible ease-of-use and compatibility makes a big difference.
So, is Xbox under threat from browsers?
At the moment, browser gaming still has some limitations, and it’s unlikely to be the preferred option for Triple-A titles over the next few years. Instead, you’re going to need to have an Xbox or even a PS5 if you are looking to play these intricate games in 4K, with all the bells and whistles. However, gaming isn’t all about these huge titles and you might find that the sort of games you can play on Amazon Luna are very appealing.
All of this seems to prove that a bit of healthy competition is good for the industry. In response to what companies like Amazon and even Google have been doing, Xbox has had to react and make more of its games easy to play on mobile devices. Over time, expect Microsoft to incorporate more flexible ways of playing your favorite games on a browser.
For a long time, we’ve seen that there is room in the industry for multiple competitors pushing each other. Luna adding its browser functionality into the mix is a welcome move, and for the consumer it is likely that it will lead to even greater flexibility and more choice.