As any gamer with access to Xbox Live will tell you, Supergiant Games’ sleeper hit Bastion is worth both your time and your money. After winning the hearts of console gamers the world over as well as a boatload of awards, the title is available to Chrome browser users, thanks to the magic of Google’s Native Client, which allows developers to port x86 games natively into Chrome. As awesome as it is, we couldn’t help but make Bastion our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Last month’s release of Chrome 14 brought along with it Native Client (NaCl) support, paving the way for the execution of native C code within the browser. Native Client is meant to turn the browser into a playing ground for serious 3D games and powerful apps. That said, there haven’t been any real signs of that transformation in the few weeks (a seriously long time in Chrome years) since Chrome 14’s launch. But a new development might just help expedite the whole process.
Trying to define Google as a company isn’t easy, but if there is one theme that every project seems to share, it’s the drive to make the web every bit as rich and fast an experience as what can be found offline. Web App’s are starting to catch on in a very meaningful way, but browser technology is still far too immature to take advantage of all the powerful hardware found in modern machines.
The ideal solution would be to allow code to execute natively within the browser, but as Microsoft learned with ActiveX, this is far easier said than done. On Friday however, Google announced it is beginning to roll out its “Native Client” with Chrome 10, and they think they’ve found a secure way to deliver the type of performance that could power everything from 3D gaming to rich media.