Google has just released the Chrome 94 beta update that looks to improve in-browser gaming. Courtesy of some sleek changes to Chrome's code, Google says that its browser-based gaming should be faster and easier than ever before.
A more seamless Chrome-based gaming experience could bring about myriad benefits to users who enjoy such cloud gaming services as Facebook Gaming and Google Stadia. Google Chrome is still the most popular browser in the world, and it remains the most widely used by some distance despite Microsoft Edge making gains on Safari in this year's desktop browser rankings.
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Google’s Chrome Beta 94 announcement (opens in new tab) outlines the implementation of new web standards. This involves changes to WebCodecs, which is an Application Programming Interface (API) for encoding and decoding audio and video inside of your browser. These modified WebCodecs can then use your computer’s hardware to deliver the game’s video stream more quickly.
There are, of course, already existing mechanisms to get video to play in Chrome. However, these current methods may not be suitable enough for cloud gaming, which relies on low latency for the best experience. High latency can disrupt (or even stop) a game in mid-stream, while low latency helps to ensure silky-smooth, buffer-free gaming. WebCodecs optimize incoming video stream, getting the video onto your stream in the quickest way possible, while also potentially aiding performance on slower machines.
Smoother and faster
The new beta update also brings changes to the WebGPU API. The newer WebGPU (opens in new tab) allows web developers better access to your computer’s graphics power, enabling them to communicate more directly with it. This helps to erase obstructive layers causing high latency by letting them tap into your computer’s native graphics API.
All in all, it's good news for Chrome browser users (of which there are many). If you'd rather stick with your console, then there's news to report in the cloud gaming arena here, as well, with Xbox Cloud Gaming set to arrive on Xbox consoles later this year.