InstantAction Is Live, Bringing Full Games to Web Browsers
The term "browser-based gaming" is usually associated with the simple, arcade-style Flash games available just about anywhere on the Web. But a new company, called InstantAction, just went live with a new take on the concept: full PC games playing inside a browser.
InstantAction is currently offering the LucasArts adventure game "The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition," with more titles to follow soon. Instead of installing the game on a computer, the user can play it through a Web browser such as Firefox or Safari. Full games can also be embedded in blogs, gaming sites and Facebook profiles for other people to play.
"The InstantAction platform provides a brand new way to get games from their creators to customers, thus avoiding obstacles to publishing and discovering new games that are inherent in the traditional brick and mortar model," said Louis Castle, CEO of InstantAction, in a statement.
InstantAction is trying to capitalize on the brand new browser-based gaming industry. OnLive, another company offering browser gaming for full games has a similar concept, but a different method of execution.
OnLive houses all the game software on its servers and streams the video and audio to the player. InstantAction instead uses a sort of streaming the company likes to call "chunking," where the entire game isn't sent to the player, but a few relevant pieces are sent that allow the user to begin playing immediately.
The result: a full retail game that can be embedded into any site that permits HTML embedding.
InstantAction still has a few restrictions in comparison with other browser gaming companies. In order to play a game, the user's computer must still meet the full game's spec requirements. This will slow the adoption of browser gaming on netbooks, which are much less powerfull than conventional laptops and desktops and stand to benefit from browser-based gaming.
In order to accommodate the average user, InstantAction is likely to feature many retro games and current indie developer hits, which traditionally require less processing power. However, InstantAction has demoed the hit game Assassin's Creed as well, indicating recent blockbuster games will also be featured. InstantAction's interface will be able to tell users which games their computers can handle.
InstantAction has instructions on how people can start playing The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition in their Facebook page right away. Monkey Island is $9.99 currently, with other titles and prices to be announced later.
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