Linux Gaming News

Chrome Native Client powers the first mobile/PC cross-platform games

Few things are more frustrating to an avid gamer than the complete and total lack of cross-platform support for most games out there. I want to play online, with my friends, regardless of what platform they are on. Some have tried, but it’s never really been a unified experience.

PC gamers brag that their amazing rigs are better and more accurate than the console gamers, and console gamers argue that their gamepads are far better for gameplay. I feel like a unified gaming platform would have shortened the war by five years and saved millions of dollars in the process. My cries for unification fell on deaf ears, with few exceptions… until today. Today, it looks like the team at Spacetime Studios is expanding their popular series of MMOs to allow the PC, Android, and iOS platforms to all play together thanks to Chrome Native Client (NaCl).

At Google I/O this year, the Chrome team announced that the Native Client SDK was being released in beta, bringing the ability to build web apps that could seamlessly launch native compiled code in the browser. Among the many possibilities this brings to Chrome, it meant it would be much easier to render 2D and 3D graphics, which meant Chrome could become a rich gaming platform that works on computers of every kind. Effectively, any game written in NaCl would work on anything that could run the Chrome browser. What’s more, it would allow you to switch back and forth between those clients and maintain the same game profile and data. This was a huge step for browser-based games of any kind, but the guys at Spacetime Studios decided to take it one step further.

Chrome Native Client is still in Labs state, meaning it’s not ready for primetime yet, but we noticed that the Chrome Web Store was on the list of places you could play games made by SpaceTime Studios. The developer team behind the smash hit MMO Pocket Legends has been busy to say the least. One of the biggest MMO games on iOS, and the first MMO to cross-platform between iOS and Android was a significant accomplishment. Added to that the recent release of the futuristic MMO Star Legends to both platforms and you’ve got a very popular pair of games ready for a surge of new users. None of the SpaceTime games can be found right now by searching the Chrome Web Store, so we anticipate that Native Client will be released any day now.

The Chrome Web Store is likely to soon be filled with more powerful game titles, like the Pocket Legends and Star Legends MMO games. The ability to play anywhere you have access to a web browser is a powerful tool, and one that will grow more popular. I don’t think we are anywhere near seeing browser games take over traditional games like Call of Duty or Starcraft, but I think we will certainly start to see the lines between those words get more blurry over the next year.

Now, with Chrome NaCl on the horizon, anything with a browser will be able to play with Linux users, Mac users, Windows users, and mobile users as well. For MMO gamers out there, it’s an impressive new way to play no matter where you are.

Want more background? ExtremeTech explains what is Native Client.

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