These impressive graphics are running in a browser

Unreal Engine 4 tech demos shown running inside Mozilla Web browser at "near-native" speeds.

Epic Games and Mozilla have revealed the first glimpse of the Unreal Engine 4 running in Firefox and the results are pretty impressive. The video you see below is of Epic's Soul and Swing Ninja demos running in Firefox at "near-native" speeds and without plugins.

The results were made possible thanks to advancements made to asm.js, a "supercharged" subset of JavaScript, Mozilla said. In the past year, Mozilla has made optimizations that have increased the performance of Web applications using asm.js from 40 percent to 67 percent of native, and the company said they expect it to get even faster.

"This technology has reached a point where games users can jump into via a Web link are now almost indistinguishable from ones they might have had to wait to download and install," Mozilla CTO and SVP of engineering Brendan Eich said in a statement on Mozilla's website. "Using Emscripten to cross-compile C and C++ into asm.js, developers can run their games at near-native speeds, so they can approach the Web as they would any other platform."

In his own statement, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said the Web has a "crucial part to play" in the future of game development and deployment. "And Mozilla has proven it is the catalyst to make this happen," he said.

Epic Games and Mozilla will show off Unreal Engine 4 running in Web browsers at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. GameSpot will be in attendance.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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83 comments
Algearond
Algearond

Color me impressed, damn that was impressive

limbo12
limbo12

These Silly Headlines Are Trying To Be Like Kotaku

fede018
fede018

Firefox: runs games better than the Xbone LOLOL

tonet666
tonet666

The next Firefox version won't be 25-30MB but 250-300MB, :)

The graphics looks better than SKYRIM. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

The waterfall is REALLY awful looking, but overall, still impressive for a browser.


My main complaint is it uses Firefox.  Every time I use that browser, I get a virus.

sephsplace
sephsplace

@DrKill09 i use an
add-on called NoScript in firefox, excellent for keeping out nasties!


Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The problem is and always will be bandwidth.  "Streaming" games sounds fine except for all the hiccups along the way.  It's why even online multiplayer games have a client and server model.

Sam_021
Sam_021

Water doesn't look good, texture needs a bit more work, physics seem to be a little bit off, apart from that it's amazing :D.

mr_nee
mr_nee

little that they didn't tell is that you need to install full engine plugin + all the game assets are downloaded. So basically you have a full game installed on your PC. Browser is just a way to distribute and display a shell - nothing more.

Besides I was expecting Frostbite3 C&C game 2 years ago - fuck this!

flacker001
flacker001

This just doesn't excite me. Maybe it should, but it doesn't. I can't remember ever thinking..."I wish [insert game name here] was playable in a browser". I don't see what the big deal is about downloading and installing a game.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Perhaps an example would make this opportunity a bit more concrete for some folks:


Shadow Complex 2 scenario:  

I start playing on my Linux, Windows, or Mac desktop in Firefox.

I save my game to some kind of synced cloud storage, perhaps provided by Steam or a Google Drive.

I open Firefox on my mobile device, and pick right back up.  The GPU & RAM are lower-end than a desktop, naturally, but Unreal Engine inherently adapts and keeps the framerate solid.

At work, during some boring conference call, I open Firefox on my laptop and knock out a couple more areas in the game.

SC2's drop-in cross-platform co-op allows a buddy to drop in from his mobile device (via Firefox).

Now, will any gaming platform owners jump on board with this?  Hell, probably not.  But a single rendering engine running within a multi-platform browser?  ...an interesting opportunity, and WAY more powerful than @#%%@#% Flash.


 

mr_nee
mr_nee

@Pyrosa  dream on. this is not what you think it is. at least not yeat.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

This is equal parts exciting and terrifying...   On one hand, cross-platform (omni-platform, really) excellence is more within reach than ever.  On the other hand, excellent toolsets like this are mostly used to chuck volumes of turds into the pipeline.   We can't have one without the other, of course...

ghost59
ghost59

i want to make games with unreal 4, but not for browser but for steam

Halloll
Halloll

my phone have firefox, so... can it run it?

Mraou
Mraou

Yay, Firefox!

fenzl
fenzl

@Mraou  Firefox is garbage. Chrome and Opera are much better. 

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

I think this has some great potential for the future of gaming.  How cool would it be to not have to install a game, but rather just start up an internet browser and play your games over the internet.  All of the game data and processing could be handled by servers as the game is streamed to your browser.  This may certainly be scary and confusing to some, but it has some interesting potential.  

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@sephsplace @IndremaLover           You could not be more wrong - there is no reason game data cannot be streamed to a browser.   Guess what - data is likely being streamed the the browser YOU ARE USING RIGHT NOW!

I know new tech can be scary - just go with it, man.  It's the future.  

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@sephsplace @IndremaLoverDon't confuse rendering with object storage -- it literally doesn't matter where the objects are stored, as long as they're local at the time of local rendering.  Thus THIS rendering engine making use of a decent-sized local cache WITH OFF-BOX STREAMING is absolutely feasible in a scenario like this. ...of course, folks paying by the GB probably won't be too cool with that, preferring everything to be locally stored as it is today.


Either way, enabling this kind of engine to be intrinsically omni-platform (thus making IT sort of a meta-platform) is an excellent opportunity.

sephsplace
sephsplace

I hope by being able to run the Unreal 4 engine in a browser it can make games more accessible to more people, more platforms and ultimately more games!

Wessel1
Wessel1

I don't really think this has much use in the current society, where when you only play games in the browser to play casual games, whereas if you want to play a bigger game, you're much better off playing it as a stand-alone product.

However, where I think this technology is most useful is in visualising things in 3D. Examples I can think of include for scientific purposes, or to improve the possibility for people to make and share things for 3D printing and everything that's connected to that, or a future version of any maps site, like Google Earth. Because whenever I want to look up an address, I'm not going to use the Google Earth program, I just want to look it up quickly while browsing. Eventually a whole realistic 3D visualisation of the Earth in a browser is something that is a logical progression from 2D through Streetview and then 3D.


It has its uses, for sure, but I don't think hardcore gaming is where it's at. Unless browsing becomes something different altogether. Like if the browser is completely integrated into the operating system and it's similar to just playing a game like you do at the moment, but with added internet stuff. But then I doubt you could still call it a browser.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

VERY Impressive. I have no idea how to feel about this. I never used a web browse game before could someone who experienced them tell us is it rockin or there net issues that keep it from glory?

banana23man
banana23man

Yeah, because gamers are just dying to play games in browsers

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@banana23man     

Maybe not you or me, but future generations?   The day will come when our kids will laugh about how in the "olden days" we used to buy, download and install our games instead of just streaming them through a browser.

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@sephsplace @IndremaLover @banana23man     I think you may be wrong - i'm convinced that streaming software (possibly through a browser) is the future - and alot of others agree.  Feel free to prove me wrong, though.

sephsplace
sephsplace

@IndremaLover @sephsplace@banana23manThis article has nothing to do with streaming

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@sephsplace @IndremaLover        How many times do you need to be wrong?   Lots, evidently.  


IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@sephsplace @IndremaLover        Because someday you (or your kids)  may play their video games on an internet browser.  That game may be streamed over the internet to that browser.  

Did i really need to explain that?

sephsplace
sephsplace

@IndremaLover and do i need to explain that this article is about running the unreal engine in a web browser using javascript which utilizes power of your hardware


IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@sephsplace @IndremaLover        Yes, and it may stay that way forever - or someday the game data may be streamed to you.    But the history of technology is not in your favor.  Again, only history will prove you or me correct on this.  I am convinced that "software as a service" is the future.   

jawknee408
jawknee408

@sephsplace @IndremaLover  How stupid are you right now? Why in the F would they make you run your (installed game on a PC) to POP open a Firefox windows just so you can run the game?? LOL... Really dude!! This shit is meant for streaming games... Like Adobe Flash Player is needed to stream vids on youtube... IDIOT!!!

sephsplace
sephsplace

@jawknee408 @sephsplace@IndremaLoverIf you really think that porting ue4 to browser, is for streaming games then you are a MORON! if it was streaming, it would be streaming from a remote computer, thus making the port of ue4 to browser redundant, you unfortunately are the idiot who doesn't understand that all this is, is using browser language to download and run the game(s) locally on the fly... do some research mate

StHapns247
StHapns247

 If this runs in Internet Explorer as an ActiveX plugin the Xbone may finally get games that run in native 1080p.

lostn
lostn

Does Epic still make games?

sircastick
sircastick

So the next Farmville will look like Crysis 3?

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

I hope those water effects aren't part of the final product.

slainta
slainta

Link to the site or it never happened!