Google's Chrome browser will soon have greatly enhanced gaming capabilities, with plug-and-play support for gamepads on the way.
The news was revealed by Google developer advocate Paul Kinlan during a talk earler today at Develop Liverpool. Due in the first quarter of next year, the update will also see Chrome support cameras and microphones without the need for plug-ins, with Kinlan hinting at the possibilities for augmented reality games and player tracking.
Also planned is support for WebRTC, an open-source video chat application that will run directly in-browser with no plug-in required. It also opens the door for an OnLive-style cloud gaming service, something Kinlan says Google is already working on - though server infrastructure and publishing agreements are another matter.
It all goes to show the growing potential of Chrome for games. With HTML5 widely accepted to replace Flash in the fullness of time, Chrome's support for accelerated graphics with WebGL, and an unrivalled update cycle - Google releases a new version every six weeks, no matter what - it's certainly got the technology. With over 200 million users - it's expected to replace Mozilla Firefox as the second most popular browser on the planet before the year is out - it also has the audience.
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