This Amazon controller works with the Fire Stick to let you play a wide range of games
Image credit: source

The Information reports that Amazon is putting together a game streaming service that will beam titles from the cloud right to your devices, so you can play without installing them, or even owning a powerful machine to run them.

The service will see Amazon compete with Google – which is currently testing its Project Stream service in the US – as well as Microsoft, which is building its own platform, hardware maker Nvidia, and publisher Electronic Arts. Sony‘s PlayStation Now service is already up and running, and charges players $99.99 a year for access to more than 700 games.

It makes sense for Amazon to enter this arena, as it’s the largest provider of cloud computing services on the planet – ahead of Google and Microsoft by a long shot – and can therefore easily build out the necessary infrastructure to support a demanding game streaming service for users around the world.

A number of such platforms have been built, tested, and shut down in the past few years, mostly owing to low demand and unsatisfactory performance.

The idea is that the service will handle all the heavy computing needed to run graphics-intensive games in the cloud, and then stream it to your computer or mobile device so your experience is indistinguishable from running those titles natively on a high-end gaming system. With improvements in broadband networks in recent years, that’s now a lot easier than before, and issues like lag and latency aren’t as hard to solve as in the early 2010s.

I imagine that Amazon might also leverage its Prime subscription service to woo customers to try its gaming offering. People who pony up for the plan not only unlock free or expedited shipping, but also get access to Amazon‘s streaming music and video services in countries where they’re available. Last April, the retail giant revealed it had more than 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide.

It’s also worth noting that Amazon makes a line of Fire devices to stream content over the internet to your TV, as well as a game controller that lets you play a wide range of Android-based titles when used with the Fire stick dongle. If the company can get its service to work with these products, it could gain an edge over its rivals.