Mozilla May be Aiming For a Firefox Games Platform
About three months ago, there was an article about Google's idea how to turn its Chrome browser into a gaming platform.
That strategy has not changed and it is clear that Google will be steamrolling its weight into this market to compete with Microsoft for cloud app market share. What has changed however, that Mozilla is now quite apparently also thinking about its chances in this segment and if gaming is a fitting app environment for Firefox.
Mozilla quietly launched the developer preview of its Apps project, which outlines some guidelines how developers can create apps to run in Firefox. It's Mozilla's version of web apps, but it's all done in the open and other browser makers (if they matter) could adopt the idea. What is noteworthy is the gaming and entertainment component that was outlined by Rob Hawkes in a Mozilla Hacks post. If you have been following this topic, there is not much news and you may very well be aware that there is a Full Screen API, the Mouse Lock API, the Gamepad API, Websockets and WebRT than can be leveraged for online gameplay within the browser window. Hawkes, however, also states that BrowserID can be used to identify players. Even more importantly, it is the first time that Mozilla publishes, for the first time, ideas how the browser, in this case Firefox, could become a game platform.
Of course, feature such as the gamepad API are not yet available in Firefox (Chrome already supports this API) and Firefox lacks a certain standout feature to attract gamers and create the kind of buzz Chrome currently owns. We should notice, however, that Mozilla has gaming in its sights and given Firefox' HTML5 capabilities, it is a smart and necessary move. Of course, the strategy will only work if those features that are supporting online gaming will be available rather sooner than later.