While the family and multiplayer options of this cloud-based service are fun, the extra costs, lack of newer titles, and limited channels does hold back this system-less gaming experience. Amazon Luna tries to leverage the tons of Amazon servers scattered around the world to provide a seamless online environment, and for the most part, it does this relatively well. While the platform may look for an Amazon Fire Stick or TV to support an easier connection during setup with your phone or computer, it only takes a few additional seconds via controller, and then it usually works without a problem, assuming that your Wi-Fi signal is strong. That said, switching your games from one device to another is extremely simple, and can be done just by launching an app or opening a browser: the service recognizes that you're starting a session on a new device, and swaps controls to the new system, which is great if you're playing at home and need to head out of the house but still make progress in a title. Similarly, the Luna Couch feature is great, especially if you have a friend or family member over that doesn't subscribe to the service. The extension of a code for a multiplayer match or a friendly round of Jackbox games to bring friends along is a great selling point for the platform, especially for people on the fence about whether they'd want to subscribe.
All this being said, though, there's still a number of issues that keeps Amazon Luna from being the perfect cloud service around. For instance, the cost, and what you get for it, is a large issue. If you're not a Prime subscriber (which gives you a Prime channel with a limited handful of games for free), access to the Luna+ channel is $9.99 a month, which is on top of the $69.99 you'd pay for a controller, or some combination of hardware bundles that can run as high as $220 for a controller and tablet. But past that, the cost of the channels can easily add up, and subscribing to all of them will cost at least $40 bucks each month. That's a hefty price, especially considering that you don't actually own these titles and are never presented the option to buy them either if you like something you're playing. Some channels, like the Jackbox games and the Retro channel, provide incredible value at $4.99/month each. There's a ton of titles to keep single players busy, like the Contra and Castlevania collections, and for multiplayer, hopping in and playing a game or two of any of the Jackbox Party Packs more than make up for the subscription price every month alone. If you've got friends or family over, it would be a perfect twist on the family gaming night idea. But other channels, like the Ubisoft channel, feel overpriced at $17.99/month, especially considering that you can pick up many of the games in that channel for a one time purchase at the exact same price (or just a little bit more). But on top of that, Luna's catalog of games for each channel aren't the latest games around. In fact, new additions are usually a year or two old and not always the biggest titles released. What's even odder is that Amazon Game Studio titles aren't even included in the Luna+ offering. That means that solid games made by Amazon, like Lost Ark and New World, are completely missing from the service, which feels like a massive oversight. The end result is that players may want to stick with some of the more proven, and more affordable offerings, like the Jackbox channels for Amazon Luna, to really enjoy this cloud service to its fullest.