Native Client Turns Chrome into High-end Gaming Platform

Google demonstrated their new technology that secures the Web and makes browsers more powerful at the company's headquarters south of San Francisco. The company showed games known for their processor-intensive graphics running in the new version of the Chrome browser but it will also support photo editing, 3D modeling and video training software applications.


The games include those made by Square Enix, maker of Mini Ninja; Wolf Toss, built with Moai; Supergiant Games' Bastion (Chrome browser only), which has won industry awards; and the Unity 3D game-building engine. Game designer Amir Rao showed off Bastion running in Chrome via Native Client to the crowd of about 100 developers, Google employees, and journalists, and it was apparent that the gameplay was smooth and that the graphics were highly detailed. It looked as if it could've been running on a console, except it was being played in a Chrome tab.

Ian Ellison-Taylor, Google's director of product management for the open Web platform, said that Native Client, also called NaCl, can currently improve browser performance by 2 to 10 times.  He said Google wants to bring native applications to the Web for performance and security reasons, and it wants to enrich the Web ecosystem by bringing popular, long-in-use programming languages to the Web.

Christian Stefansen, Google's product manager on NaCl, explained which kinds of applications work well with NaCl. These include, he said, hardware accelerated games, photo editing, 3D modeling, video training software, and computer-aided design. 

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