Amazon raised the price of Prime earlier this year in the US, so it's now time for the other shoe to drop.
Amazon US has announced (thanks Wario64) that it's taking away two of Prime's best features, affecting both the store as well as Twitch. For years, Amazon US offered Prime customers a blanket 20% off on game pre-orders.
Many players made use of this over the years, despite the fact certain games were inexplicably excluded. It was the equivalent to Best Buy's GCU rewards program. Now that GCU is gone, Amazon has now decided to also get rid of the 20% pre-order discount.
Starting August 28, Prime members will instead receive $10 in Amazon promotional credit when pre-ordering "select" games. Like the 20% discount, this is only valid on games sold by Amazon, and not third-party resellers. The interesting thing to note here is that not all unreleased games are included in the promotion.
The $10 credit promo will simply be available for some games and not others. Prime members will get an email up to 35 days after order delivery to indicate the credit has been added to their account.
Pre-orders placed prior to August 28, under the old system, will be honoured. In other words, you have a week to pre-order games and still get the 20% off discount.
There are a few other limitations that come with the $10 promotional credit, too, which you can read in full on Amazon's help page.
On the same day, Twitch - owned by Amazon - also announced the removal of a major Twitch Prime benefit: universal ad-free viewing. Previously, Twitch Prime members were able to enjoy an ad-free experience on any device, watching any channel.
Beginning September 14, you'll start to see ads almost everywhere on the site. You can still use your Prime subscription on any channel, but this won't disable ads on that channel unless the streamer has ad-free viewing for subscribers turned on.
If you're currently a monthly Twitch Prime member, you'll get ad-free viewing until October 15. For annual subscription holders, they'll continue to watch content ad-free until the next renewal date.
If you're still looking to get an ad-free experience across all channels, you can subscribe to Twitch Turbo, which is a $9 per month service.
Other Twitch Prime benefits like free monthly games, in-game loot and chat badges are not being taken away.