Mozilla wants to bring console games to the web, ports Unreal 3 engine to web browsers


We all know Mozilla loves the Internet. Not only do they develop a web browser, Firefox, but they have been working on an HTML5-only mobile operating system, Firefox OS. So you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you Mozilla isn’t stopping now. In fact, their latest endeavor may be more significant than what they have done in the past: bringing top-rated console games to web browsers.

Mozilla has been working with Epic Games to port the Unreal 3 gaming engine to the Internet. In other words, with the Unreal 3 engine, people will be able to play console games through their web browser. Don’t believe it? Check out the following demo Mozilla showed off at Game Developers Conference 2013 plus a demo of BananBread, a 3D FPS played in Firefox using this technology:

The best part? This is done without any plugins or browser-specific features, so this can, in theory, work on any web browser that supports WebGL. In other words, this isn’t just for Firefox.

While this may be cool, this hardly means console games are coming to the web immediately — there are plenty of issues that still need to be worked out. As ArsTechnica points out, the biggest issue is load times. Top-rated games are often backed by gigabytes worth of data (e.g. BioShock Infinite has 17GB of files) and it would take f-o-r-e-v-e-r for you to load a game if you had to download multiple GB worth of gaming data every time. However, all is not lost. A bunch of smart people are talking this particular issue and hope to have some sort of workaround in the near future. Only time will tell if that actually happens.

For those of you that are interested, Mozilla and Epic Games have achieved this feat by making use of WebGL (an open 3D graphics standard), Emscripten (a tool that allows use of C++ in JavaScript), and asm.js (a high-performance JavaScript). And, I haven’t tried it myself but according to Mozilla, you can give this a go yourself.

[via ArsTechnica]

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