Amazon Luna didn’t actually role out a new feature … It’s just that nobody actually noticed it for 400+ days; and when they did, they merely wanted to use it to attack Stadia

This isn’t actually a piece about Amazon Luna; at least, not really. It is an opinion piece about the hypocrisy and inconsistency in the coverage of the nascent cloud gaming space. In their apparent glee to show that Amazon Luna had beat Google to the punch on yet another Stadia promised feature, pundits and so called tech/gaming “journalists” missed the real point of the Twitch integration story.

This “play on Luna” twitch button was something that Amazon Luna actually had over 400 days ago and (almost) nobody noticed! So few people noticed that it had already been out, that others could write it up as slap in the face of Stadia as if it was a brand new feature and meant the Luna team was doing big things for their platform that Stadia wasn’t.

Reality check! Here are people originally discovering it back in October of 2020: It was available essentially at Luna’s launch. It is possible that it was disabled at some later point and then re-enabled, but more likely is that nobody noticed it or thought it important enough to write about it since release.

Amazon Luna has been available to essentially anyone who wants to try it in the US for about a year, and the numbers are still 1-2 orders of magnitude behind GFN and Stadia. In other words, this feature, that was there 400 days ago, is clearly not some crucial/existential cloud gaming offering that Stadia is missing out on.

It’s bizarre to see the different tone outlets take when covering Stadia and Luna – particularly around the efforts the companies are putting into each platform. Amazon Luna remains little more than a way to stream the output of totally generic/un-platformed Windows games running on a Windows cloud node. There is still next to nothing “Amazon” or “Luna” about “Amazon Luna.” No friends lists, no chat, no achievements, no platform leaderboards in games, no proper multiplayer or global privacy settings etc. etc. Certainly no cloud features that need actual game integration via an SDK/API.

Despite this, some folks still decided this (misclassified) “new feature” was yet another opportunity to get clicks by backhanding Stadia for their apparent failures: It is really hard to see how the narratives are consistent here.

Ah well, back to playing Mafia III…