On cloud nine with Google Stadia, Xbox Game Pass, and Amazon Luna
The cloud gaming world is getting more interesting every day. The latest addition? Amazon Luna. So when you are ready to game via the cloud (and even more importantly: when your internet connection is ready), which cloud gaming service should you choose? We compare the different services and take a look at the fun games you can expect to play.
The platforms - When people speak of cloud gaming, it usually sounds like anything is possible: you can game anywhere and everywhere. Though technically that could be true, at this moment every cloud gaming service mostly has its own platform. Luna works on Fire TV, PC, Mac and iOS. Google Stadia works on PC, Mac, ChromeOS, Android and Chromecast Ultra. Xbox Game Pass is more Microsoft minded and is available on Android for streaming, and on Xbox One, PC and Xbox Series X the service works too, but just for downloading.
Controllers - Microsoft obviously has controllers covered, but Google and Amazon did not want to stay behind on this one. Amazon Luna has a controller for $50 that seems to have a lower latency than Bluetooth controllers. You can even use Alexa for voice commands. The Google Stadia controller is a bit more expensive at $69, but it offers Google Assistant speech assistance as well as synching through wifi for a lower latency.
Streaming quality - The quailty of the stream depends on the type of subscription you have, but both Luna and Stadia offer 4K gaming at 60 frames per second. Microsoft offers a resolution of 720p at 60Hz for streaming on Android. Just be mindful of the badnwidth and dara demands for the higher quality streaming – the platforms recommend 35Mbps if you want to play games in ultra HD 4K resolution and can use up to 10GB per hour when streaming at 1080p resolution.
Fun fact: Amazon owns Twitch, so it will make it easy for gamers to not just stream the games to their device, but also stream their game and face on Twitch.
The games – Amazon Luna promises 72 games, Stadia has approximately 50 games and Xbox 100 games. So what are our top pics for you to enjoy across the different platforms?
Google Stadia offers exciting games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Borderlands 3, but there are also some exclusives. Outcasters is an online multiplayer top-down shooter made by Gears Tactics. Orcs Must Die! 3 is the third iteration in the genre, made by Robot Entertainment. But watch this space as there are other Stadia games coming up from Harmonix and Supermassive Games too.
Xbox Games Pass offers a selection of more high end games, such as Forza 7, Halo en Fallout. They also have some great titles we think you will enjoy such as Nier: Automata, a unique game which has 26 possible endings, one for each letter of the alphabet. CrossCode is one for the more retro players with more pixelated artwork and gameplay reminiscent of Zelda; or try Spiritfarer for something more relaxing and restful
Amazon Luna offers Resident Evil 7, Panzer Dragoon, Control and A Tale of Two Sons. There will be a seperate (paid) Ubisoft channel to offer Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.
So all three cloud gaming services offer AAA games as well as indie titles. That makes it pretty hard to choose which one fits your needs best. In the end it will probably be the games that will inspire that decision, but still, that is going to be a tough cookie to crack as they all offer wonderful experiences that will have you on cloud 9.