The announcement of its Chrome 94 beta Google, says it implements some new web standards that could make the browser-based gaming experience even better.
WebCodecs coming soon could make cloud gaming easier and faster, while the experimental WebGPU could make it easier for game developers running in the browser to harness the power of your computer.
WebCodecs is an API designed to give developers better access to video encoders that handle video streams. While there are already methods for playing video in Chrome, they are not necessarily designed for things like gaming in the cloud, which is best when it has the lowest possible latency. WebCodecs is designed to avoid overhead, making it easier to transfer incoming video streams to your screen as quickly as possible, possibly with hardware decoding. This will also, in theory, make it perform better on slower machines (which are the types of computers where cloud gaming is more desirable anyway).
The newer, more experimental WebGPU gives web developers better access to your computer's graphics horsepower, letting them connect to your computer's native graphics API (similar to Apple's Metal, Microsoft DirectX 12, or Vulkan). Simply put, it makes it easy for web developers to "talk" to your graphics card in a language they understand, without having to go through other levels that could slow down the process. This is a next-generation version of WebGL, which allows developers to take advantage of the framework OpenGL. In the future, the technology will make it easier for developers to make better graphics in games running in the browser, taking advantage of the full power of current generation GPUs.
Both technologies work out of the game. In a speech in July 2020, Google stated that Zoom was interested in using WebCodecs in its teleconferencing and that WebGPU could be used to render 3D models in the browser or to accelerate machine learning models. Both pieces of technology are open standards, developed by the WXNUMXC, and other browser makers have begun testing them as well.
Of course, we probably won't see experiences supported by WebCodecs or WebGPUs very soon. While WebCodecs is really close to being released, developers should make their applications work with it. As for WebGPU, it is currently in an experimental phase, which Google expects to end in early 2022. Whether it will end up as a feature depends on how the test will proceed, if the specifications are met and if there are enough people interested in using it.
While these technologies may not do things that were impossible, they are certainly exciting. When things are easier or more flexible, the barrier for developers is reduced. For gamers who want to play online, whether through streaming or native games, the time developers spend figuring out how to transfer the frames to the screen is the amount of time they can devote to improving other parts of the experience.