updated 07:35 pm EST, Thu November 24, 2011
Chrome to add plugin-free peripherals and WebRTC
A presentation from Google developer evangelist Paul Kinlan at the Develop Liverpool conference has revealed that the Chrome browser, and by extension Chrome OS, should get plugin-free support that will be much more conducive to gaming. The browser should get support for common USB peripherals and allow for console-style gaming with a gamepad, Edge heard. Likewise, it would open the door to more seamless video chat, augmented reality, and body tracking.
The same release should roll in WebRTC, a dedicated, open video streaming protocol. Although intended for video chat, it should also allow anything that requires live video streaming with two-way input. Streaming game services such as OnLive or Gaikai could work on any computer with Chrome that had enough performance to handle the video itself.
Chrome's relevant update should come in early 2012, Kinlan said. Chrome is still on a six-week, fast track update schedule and could be ready as soon as January.
The move would be timely for Google, which is still trying to gain acceptance for Chromebooks and could use the painless hardware support. With Adobe dropping mobile Flash, desktop Flash now has less support, encouraging Google to focus more of its time on support for Chrome that isn't locked to a proprietary plugin.