Amazon just announced a new update for Fire TV which will add deep integration with the company’s Luna game streaming service and its TV platform – it’s exactly the sort of thing Google should have done with Stadia too.

Coming soon, the homescreen on Fire TV will add a new “Games on Fire TV” section that combines locally installed games and cloud streaming games from Amazon Luna on your TV. It also pulls in Amazon Prime Gaming titles that stream on Luna, which gives you access to a rotating list of titles for free as a part of your Prime subscription.

This new page will appear under the “Games” section of the Fire TV homescreen but doesn’t appear to have rolled out widely just yet. Amazon Luna has been supported on Fire TV for quite some time through a dedicated app.

To play Games on Fire TV, you can pair almost any Bluetooth game controller and POOF! you’ve turned your Fire TV into a gaming console. Or, for the ultimate gaming experience on Amazon Luna, pick up a Luna Controller — the controller that talks directly to the cloud.

Like Samsung’s “Gaming Hub” on Tizen TVs, this page will also pull in game trailers and streams, primarily with Amazon-owned Twitch.

9to5Google’s Take

This is exactly the sort of thing that Google TV should have done with Stadia long ago.

Stadia arrived on Android TV and Google TV in 2021 with a dedicated app that, on Google TV devices, also had some level of homescreen integration. Users could quickly jump into their last-played game and even see recommended games alongside movies and TV shows on the featured rows.

But Google never moved beyond that.

With dedicated tabs for movies, TV shows, and apps, a “Games” tab has always felt obvious. Not only could Google have leveraged its own Stadia service and showcased it to the many people using its Chromecast streamer or TVs from TCL and Sony, but the same page could have had integration with Nvidia GeForce Now, which has long supported Android TV OS.

Google TV has always been about helping users to manage the confusion of what shows and movies are on what streaming services, and a real push for gaming on Google TV could have done something similar for cloud streaming games.

Instead, Stadia is just getting the boot, while Amazon and Samsung bring this idea to their customers.

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Ben Schoon

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