Are web browsers the future of gaming?

Quality gaming has been synonymous with gaming consoles for a long time now. They have in fact dominated the gaming industry for the past four decades. The evolution of video gaming has taken place on consoles, growing from the laggy games with patchy graphics of yesteryear to the incredibly life-like virtual reality games available today. Although next-generation consoles, such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U remain hugely popular, the future of gaming is set to change thanks to the Internet.

browser-773215_640

Image via pixabay.com

If you are a hardcore gamer, you no doubt regard gaming on smartphones, mobile devices and browsers to be infinitely inferior to gaming on a console. That is understandable; however, technological innovations, faster domestic Internet speeds, changing consumer preferences and changing web developer strategies may make consoles obsolete in the near future.

Impact of the Internet on modern gaming

The Internet has already revolutionized gaming and has grown to become the foundation of the modern gaming industry. These days you and your friends can easily play one of the many multiplayer online role-playing games available. You can also use the Internet to chat during game play, comparing techniques, exchanging strategies and even bragging about your scores and progress on social media.

Furthermore, you can download and run games through services such as Steam. In fact, Steam occupies a key place in PC gaming and is positioning itself as a hardware and software company. In future you will buy a game on the website then play it using Steam’s approved hardware, much the same way you would buy games through the PlayStation Store.

Increasing popularity of browser gaming

If you have been watching the world of gaming you will have realized that browser gaming has been increasing in popularity for a while now. We are not talking about playing basic games such as Peggle, Bejeweled or the slew of Facebook favorites, such as Farmville. We are referring to games that are advanced and sophisticated enough to appeal to serious hardcore gamers.

A good example is World of Warcraft, which has grown into a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) since its creation in 2004. This game is considered one of the flagship titles that brought gaming on the web into the mainstream. Led by visionary CEO Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard – the company behind World of Warcraft – was a pioneer in browser gaming. The game moved beyond the traditional RTS genre to offer players an amazing gaming experience from their browsers. Bobby Kotick has been at the helm of this company as it brought to the world popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Skylanders and Guitar Hero, among others.

Although currently web browsers may not be good enough to power high-end, top-quality games, developers, gaming companies and gamers are slowly realizing that they have the potential to become the next big thing in gaming.

You only need to look at what Mozilla has accomplished through its browser, Firefox. In March 2015, Mozilla used its booth at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco to showcase a game demo powered by the Unreal Engine that can be played through Firefox on a typical PC. The Unreal Engine is the same powerhouse graphics engine behind Infinity Blade on iOS and Gears of War on consoles, among other games. Mozilla’s demo relied on JavaScript instead of Adobe’s Flash to render its graphics, providing an experience that nears the performance of consoles.

For more proof that web browsers are providing
stiff competition to consoles, consider the fact that technology such as HTML5, WebGL and Canvas Programming is already providing web developers with the playground to create fully-fledged gaming solutions that can run in the browser. With more work and collaboration between developers in the world of technology and the internet, web browsers may soon tempt gamers away from their gaming consoles.

Benefits of browser gaming

Some of the advantages offered by browser gaming are not available on consoles. The browser is a piece of software that is truly multi-platform in nature. You can access your games on Google Chrome or Firefox on whichever device you have from the PC to Android and iOS devices.

Furthermore, with web browser gaming, there is nothing extra to download. All you have to do is log on to your device to start playing. If you want to invite a friend to join you, simply open a new tab and connect with them on social media. This convenience cannot be overlooked.

The switch from consoles to browser gaming still has a long way to go. However, browsers are already an integral part of the modern gaming experience. It is only a matter of time before the battle between gaming consoles and web browsers tips in the latter’s favor.