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Game Devs Predict Death of Flash, Installed Games

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the remember-when-browsers-just-browsed dept.

PC Games (Games) 295

New submitter rescendent writes "In an interview with Massively, Illyriad Games developers Ben Adams and James Niesewand predict the death of Flash, the rise of HTML5, and a long-term shift away from installed games. Quoting: 'The major advantages that boxed set or download games have had over browser-based games are local storage and direct access to the graphics and audio engines. Those barriers are being smashed apart by HTML5. ... Especially for MMO game developers, I personally don't believe that developers have any real long-term choice about embarking on this path or not. Ultimately, I believe it's either browser-based or obsolescence. If you don't do it, your competitors will, and they'll be making games that work identically on more device platforms, on more browsers, on more operating systems. It's going to take a very long time to get there, though, but this change has begun now, and we firmly believe that HTML5 is the future.' With Microsoft joining the ranks of Apple and not supporting Flash in Windows 8, there's definitely a risk to Flash. But will browser-based games really replace installed games?"

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Windows 8 (5, Informative)

woodsbury (1581559) | about 3 years ago | (#37477842)

Microsoft has said that Windows 8 will support Flash, it will just be disabled if you view a page in the Metro UI. I can't imagine many people doing that beyond on a tablet like it is intended for.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37477966)

Windows 8 will support Flash, it will just be disabled if you view a page in the Metro UI. I can't imagine many people doing that beyond on a tablet like it is intended for.

Windows 8 tablets can't run the Flash plug-in at all. The only way they run Flash is as a dedicated Metro style app built with an AIR container.

Re:Windows 8 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478148)

No, specifically IE10 on Windows 8 tablets won't run plug-ins. You can install another browser that does support plug-ins to view Flash.

The article linked from the previous /. article is talking exclusively about IE10.

How to persuade M$ to sign such a browser? (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478238)

You can install another browser that does support plug-ins

No, Microsoft can install another browser on your device through the Metro app store and has every right to decline to do so, just as Apple has declined to approve browsers that run on an iOS device other than its own Safari. Did you miss the recent story that all Metro style applications must be digitally signed by Microsoft [slashdot.org] ?

Re:How to persuade M$ to sign such a browser? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37478462)

I was able to download and install Firefox in the DP without any issue.

Why would this be an issue for the final version?

Re:How to persuade M$ to sign such a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478728)

Apple have lifted that restriction. It just has to use the in-sdk rendering engine.

Re:Windows 8 (2)

catmistake (814204) | about 3 years ago | (#37478198)

With Microsoft joining the ranks of Apple and not supporting Flash in Windows 8

I know what the OP is trying to say here... but he's saying it awkwardly and incorrectly. Was Apple ever expected to support Flash in Windows 8? By all accounts, Apple supports Flash in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, even if Adobe drops the ball here and there.

With Windows 8 for tablets joining the ranks of iOS and not supporting Flash...

FTFY

Re:Windows 8 (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 years ago | (#37478414)

Was Apple ever expected to support Flash in Windows 8?

Uh, what? :)

Re:Windows 8 (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 3 years ago | (#37478712)

Was Apple ever expected to support Flash in Windows 8?

Uh, what? :)

No, but I expect Adobe will.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478464)

The sentence is fine; your parsing skills need work.

Few years or decades ? (5, Insightful)

zaibazu (976612) | about 3 years ago | (#37477844)

Internet on the customer side needs to be several magnitutes faster to accomodate the same graphic fidelity

Re:Few years or decades ? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477956)

Exactly. I'd love to see how they handle streaming gigs worth of game data over a browser every single time every single person wants to play a game. Browser games will be fine for simple stuff, but it will be a long time before they can do something like a modern game, which by the time they do, the required amount of data will have increased.

These "devs" are clueless idiots. It's no wonder why their companies are unknown and have nothing to show for themselves.

CACHE MANIFEST (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478016)

I'd love to see how they handle streaming gigs worth of game data over a browser every single time every single person wants to play a game.

Ideally, it'd be done with an application cache [w3.org] that keeps the gigabytes of data on the device. But the spec leaves quota expectations undefined, and real-world devices have been seen to have maximum cache sizes such as 0.005 GB that would be impractically small for this use.

Re:CACHE MANIFEST (0)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 3 years ago | (#37478132)

Ideally, it'd be done with an application cache [w3.org] that keeps the gigabytes of data on the device. But the spec leaves quota expectations undefined, and real-world devices have been seen to have maximum cache sizes such as 5.25 MB that would be impractically small for this use.

TFTY

Re:CACHE MANIFEST (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 3 years ago | (#37478140)

*FTFY :(

*grumblegrumble* keyboard layout *grumblegrumble*

Re:CACHE MANIFEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478644)

FYI
There's a difference between fixing something that was wrong, and changing it into something you'd prefer. I believe his use of 0.005 GB was intentional - as to make a point regarding "gigabytes of data". However, since 0.005 (or 0.00525) GB is equally correct as 5.25 MB - you didn't fix shit, you just changed it.

Re:CACHE MANIFEST (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 3 years ago | (#37478236)

Traditionally the "cache" has been called an "installation".

Installation vs. cache (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478270)

An installation happens manually at the user's request and generally proceeds to completion before the program can start for the first time. In addition, an installation often requires the user to elevate to administrative privileges before proceeding. A cache happens automatically, can be filled gradually, and is generally separate for each user. The "installations" of Metal Gear Solid 4 and other PlayStation 3 games blur this line perhaps.

Re:Installation vs. cache (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37478386)

That would anger me to no end. I like allocating hard drive space, so i know when i'm going to run out. If i have a few games that constantly expand, id be pretty pissed when i was missing 55gb of space and my torrent wouldn't fit. Red text in vuze is never good.

Re:Installation vs. cache (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478620)

I like allocating hard drive space, so i know when i'm going to run out.

Which is why HTML5 application cache spec recommends that user agents present warnings when a hostname is about to hit its cache quota.

Re:Installation vs. cache (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37478686)

Still going to be slower and more annoying than CD's. Now if they let us play without the disc... Also, why the HELL would we any any sort of electronic delivery in the days of "UNLIMITED*" Data? Even home connections are getting caps now. I already warned my Comcast local they would lose me if they try it, and they haven't.

Re:Few years or decades ? (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37478366)

I'd hate to host a LAN party on my 20mb connection. That would suck hard when we all log in at the same time.

So essentially (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37477864)

Portal 3 will run in my browser, or will be obsolete?

Re:So essentially (2)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 3 years ago | (#37477928)

I think that's a long enough time frame, by then we'll all have wireless internet everywhere at speeds a hundred times as fast as your best wired connection now.

Re:So essentially (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37477968)

Its intended for windows 8, so 1-1.5 years...

Dont see myself getting multi megabit internet (even wired) by then

Re:So essentially (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 3 years ago | (#37478052)

Where did you get that information? Apart from a teasing remark at a gamers conference (some feature would have to wait for Portal 3), Valve never actually gave any kind of time frame or other information about Portal 3, did they? Did I miss it?

Re:So essentially (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37478152)

I was refering to the death of installed games.. The summary makes me feel that they are referring to Windows 8.
Portal 3 was just an example, I assumed it should come out in a year or 2 considering that both 1 and 2 were massive hits

Shannon would like to have a word with you (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#37478158)

This idea that somehow there'll be a magical technology that will allow for super fast wireless everywhere has no real foundation in reality. The reason is that pesky thing, Shannon's law: C = B * log2 (1+ S/N). What the means is the total bits per second you are going to get C, is dependent on the bandwidth in hertz, B, of the channel and it's signal-to-noise ratio, S/N. To get more data you have to either increase SNR or increase bandwidth.

Well, in a wired world, this isn't that hard to do. Just increase the frequency. Ultimately going optical does a great job. When you are talking light waves which are in the hundreds of terahertz, well getting a channel that is a THz wide is perfectly possible. Even SNR can be improved to an extent, if needed, with better shielding, more power, and so on. What's more, every wire (or fiber) is its own, dedicated, channel. So a wire going to you and one going to me share nothing. We each get all the bandwidth.

Not so in the world of wireless. There are hard limits on SNR because of ambient noise, and limits on transmission power and that whole inverse square law. You can't very well have mobile devices with 1000 watt transmitters, not if you want things on battery, never mind the other problems.

Bandwidth is perhaps even a bigger problem. The thing is, different frequency ranges have different properties. Something like 60GHz might sound great for having a wide channel, but it gets attenuated by air, never mind walls. The low frequencies punch through better, but you end up with a more narrow channel. If you are operating in the 700MHz range you aren't having a 1GHz channel.

Then of course everyone in a given area has to share the bandwidth. Whatever you have available on a channel, everyone using it shares it. 100mbps doesn't sound so impressive if 50 people are all sharing it.

These things are why the latest and greatest Wireless N struggles to push 200mbps effective data rate, single duplex, under the best conditions yet gigabit ethernet is cheap as hell and has been available for around 2 decades.

Whatever we can do with wires, wireless will always be much slower. As a practical matter, long(ish) range wireless like LTE and so on are never going to be all that blazingly fast, particularly when everyone is using them heavily. Building out networks and cutting down segment size helps, as do new technologies, but you aren't going to see wireless in the same arena as wired.

Re:Shannon would like to have a word with you (2)

dzfoo (772245) | about 3 years ago | (#37478348)

Great post!

And now for the second bit of the argument; the idea that a generic, one-size-fits-all, mostly distributed, designed by committee or industry consensus, common denominator platform that by definition depends upon layers of abstraction from the underlying medium; will ever be able to provide the exact same facilities and experience of code written specifically for, and optimized to run on the local bare-metal.

Right-o.

          -dZ.

Re:Shannon would like to have a word with you (1)

saider (177166) | about 3 years ago | (#37478544)

What's more, every wire (or fiber) is its own, dedicated, channel. So a wire going to you and one going to me share nothing. We each get all the bandwidth.

Until they get to the telco concentrator where you and your neighbors share the link back to the central office. There your neighborhood and other nearby neighborhoods share the connection to the local exchange.

Wired will still have bandwidth issues because the Internet is not point-to-point, and most of the segments that your data travels along are not dedicated to you.

html5 and JS??? (2)

maweki (999634) | about 3 years ago | (#37477868)

But for html5 replacing flash in these parts we do need DOM-Bindings for Bytecode now more than ever. It would be so great to write code in a language of my choice and compile it to Browser-Bytecode with DOM-Bindings. This would make it possible to deliver more proprietary code without making browser-plugins or something similar.

Re:html5 and JS??? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37478106)

Most code being delivered to browsers nowadays is proprietary. Being able to see the code doesn't make it non-proprietary.

Re:html5 and JS??? (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about 3 years ago | (#37478346)

This approach is already possible via:
https://github.com/kripken/emscripten [github.com]
The overhead of implementing the bytecode and its interpreter in JS may seem ridiculous, but the actual results are amazing.
Chrome's NaCl may give this a performance boost, but I expect JS will continue its reign of just-good-enough.

Oy ve.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477882)

"But will browser-based games really replace installed games?"

Anyone who asks such a question is clearly an idiot.

Re:Oy ve.. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37478134)

It's more of a reasonable proposition than it ever has been in the past. For one thing people really like angry birds and those sorts of casual games and for another developers insist upon granting the browser more and more access to hardware.

Even though it's a mistake, it does appear to be happening, the question is really how advanced are the games going to be. I wouldn't have expected games like FreeCiv to end up in the browser.

Re:Oy ve.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37478228)

I play a lot of Flash games, but I wouldn't pay money for them. If you buy the Premium Edition of games, you still have to connect to their servers to play, so you can only play as long as they keep supporting it. If you move to some device that doesn't support Flash, you can't easily run it in an emulator. I contrast, I have a lot of old games that I still play in DOSBox or WINE, and I've bought quite a few games from gog.com recently, because I know I can dig them out again in the future if I'm bored.

Re:Oy ve.. (1)

jpapon (1877296) | about 3 years ago | (#37478258)

The truth of the matter is that browsers are just becoming a VM... an OS inside your OS. If that trend continues, I see no reason why developers wouldn't shift to browsers for everything. If you can cache content locally, and hook into hardware acceleration, there's very little reason not to.

If the browser can do pretty much everything the OS can do, why not simply design everything for the browser, and leave the headache of interfacing properly with each OS to the browser developers?

No, it won't replace installed games. (4, Interesting)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | about 3 years ago | (#37477886)

Especially for MMO game developers

About that part, yeah fair enough. And Flash games can't die soon enough. But that is one thing and another thing is to predict the death of "Installed Games". Look at the HTML5 version of Quake II - on an Atom netbook you get something like, 6fps? While the native runs smoothly on a 100 Mhz machine.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

Trigger31415 (1912176) | about 3 years ago | (#37477910)

I agree : adding this layer will decreases a lot performance.
For games like Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2 (or their equilavent in the future), that are requiring a lot of ressources, it's just a no.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (2)

Rakshasa-sensei (533725) | about 3 years ago | (#37477978)

The whole idea of any kind of decent performing game running on a browser is just braindead... The problem the author seems to want to solve aren't actually problems, e.g. scripting for compatibility across platforms isn't the way to go. You want to have game platforms that allow for easy cross-compilation and distribution, and the install size really should be solved by just-in-time download of media-assets.

E.g. EVE Online will soon be replacing the current limited selection of backgrounds with pre-rendered nebulas and other super-structures, with each star-system (or cluster of) having backgrounds rendered according to their position in space. This means that since most people only really ever fly through a small portion of all available systems, they don't need to have the high-res (or uber-high-res) versions of those.

So you could probably get away with just distributing a very low-res version, same goes for other assets such as ship textures, etc.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37477980)

About that part, yeah fair enough.

I actually doubt it will do that even for MMOs, unless those MMOs are really, REALLY light both graphically and geographically. I mean, take for example WoW and Rift: even just the map data itself takes closer to one gigabyte of space, not to mention textures and all the data and textures needed by all the models in the world. Not to mention all the OTHER data an MMO these days takes. If the game ran in the browser and just dynamically downloaded all the data it needs from the game servers it would be totally unplayable unless it was something along the lines of current Flash-based "MMOs."

Not to mention that 3D-graphics in the browser is several orders of magnitude slower than native binaries which is always a consideration on non-desktop PCs.

Basically, yes, crappy-looking, light-weight Flash-like games sure will run with a combination of HTML5 and JS and without Flash, but then again, they're still crappy-looking, light-weight Flash-like games.

This article is nothing more than yet-another-attempt at selling HTML5 to incompetent people.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

dzfoo (772245) | about 3 years ago | (#37478406)

Basically, yes, crappy-looking, light-weight Flash-like games sure will run with a combination of HTML5 and JS and without Flash, but then again, they're still crappy-looking, light-weight Flash-like games.

You are right, but I think TFA refers to a much sinister future. When every single game produced is a Bejewel or Tetris clone, the end of "installed games" will come to pass.

          -dZ.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 years ago | (#37478616)

The hard truth is that your "sinister future" is exactly where we're heading. Casual games like Farmville and Doodle Jump are much easier (read: cheaper, lower risk) to produce than AAA titles, but the target market is several orders of magnitude larger (b/c the games are played by more than only the 15-35 years-old male demography), and so the income isn't any worse.

I think the AAA titles will stay where they are now, but the casual games market has a huge growth potential. In the end, "computer game" will refer to casual games first in the public eye, and AAA titles second.

Considering the bad publicity that AAA titles (read: mostly killing) generate, maybe that's not a bad thing.

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 years ago | (#37478502)

I mean, take for example WoW and Rift: even just the map data itself takes closer to one gigabyte of space, not to mention textures and all the data and textures needed by all the models in the world.

You don't need them all at once. Just stream in the background.

I think you missed the "long-term" part of the statement. If you have a computer that's 1000x as fast as the current top of the line and a 10GBit/s-connection to the internet, it's definitely possible.

Back in my youth, games came on 1.44MB floppy disks, and I'm not even that old (I know that there are some here where the games fit into 32kB of memory). Nowadays, I could stream such a game without any issues and play in my browser. Oh wait, I actually can [naclbox.com] !

Re:No, it won't replace installed games. (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 3 years ago | (#37478002)

From my experience it doesn't even work well for MMO RPG's. I've beta tested two major league 'browser based' MMO RPG's recently and the very very first thing they all lack is the ability to run at a resolution of your choice. I run a very high desktop monitor resolution and the game are near unplayable because you can't see what is on them. "Is that another player or a mob?" Is not a good question to need to ask.

The UI's need a considerable amount of work (another resolution issue in their two as you can barely tell special attacks apart), the games lag heavily (reminds me of the old old Ultima Online days), and because the have size limits to everything the first thing to go is a custom character... So everyone looks alike. Heck everything basically looks alike.

I couldn't even stand to play them for very long as they weren't very fun or interesting, and had way to many issues. Games I play certainly won't be flash or HTML 5 based anytime soon...

Smashed? (2)

Aladrin (926209) | about 3 years ago | (#37477918)

The barriers aren't being 'smashed apart'. They're being lowered, gradually. There's still a massive difference between games written in Javascript/WebGL and C++/OpenGL. It isn't even comparable yet.

As dominant as MS is... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 years ago | (#37477920)

...have people already forgotten that they have pretty much NEVER led the development of anything in terms of web browsers?

So IE8 won't support flash. So? That's like saying 'Disney won't support (random new movie format)'. Sounds impressive, unless you actually know that they've never led tech development...ever.

In the history of web clients, MS has constantly dragged their feet and been a reluctant clumsy participant, adopting technology and systems well after everyone else has done so, and then doing it poorly for at least a few iterations.

It ultimately depends if the porn industry accepts that html5 is more advantageous for them, or if flash works well enough. If porn is delivered by flash, flash will live on.

Re:As dominant as MS is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477974)

If porn is delivered by flash, flash will live on.

Porn delivered by flash? [bradfitzpatrick.com]

Re:As dominant as MS is... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 3 years ago | (#37478170)

Disney actually pioneered quite a few movie-related techniques. Maybe not video formats, but Bambi alone involved the pioneering use of slow-motion video capture (for the rain drops), multi-layered panning (trees moving at different rates) and a few others I can't remember (something about deer anatomy). I'm usually the last person to defend Disney, but one thing they DID do was innovate.

Not with our current tools (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 years ago | (#37477922)

Sorry, but you're not going to be able to replicate World of Warcraft in Javascript. It's not happening. Ever. The language just isn't built to do something that huge without collapsing under its own poor design decisions... not to mention minor details like needing to stream and locally cache several GB of textures and audio files.

This only flies if you believe the future of "gaming" is what Flash games currently are: small, simple time wasters. For anything that's currently considered an AAA game, the idea that this stuff will replace it is a joke.

Re:Not with our current tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478048)

Completely agree with this. HTML5 is all hyped and cool and such but a fact remains: It's (currently) based on Javascript which is NOT a programming language on which I would rely for complex game logics. It remains an interpreted language, so access to the whole source code is still a security problem. Also, HTML has always been problematic due to cross-browser compatibility and HTML5 doesn't look like it's about to solve this.

Where HTML5 could shine in gaming will be from tool-generated javascript such as Unity3D, or a client "streaming" such as OnLive or dumb renderer where all game logic would reside server-side. That is, unless Javascript evolves to a real object-oriented language and provides a way to distribute bytecode instead of source code.

Re:Not with our current tools (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37478314)

That is, unless Javascript evolves to a real object-oriented language and provides a way to distribute bytecode instead of source code.

You just proved you've missed the whole point of using HTML5/JS: if you're going to use bytecode you can just as well just use Flash or Java...

Re:Not with our current tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478460)

I agree with your title, but It is a stretch to say it will never happen. I think it is the way things are headed, just not any time soon.

Re:Not with our current tools (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478468)

IAAPGD (I am a professional game developer), and I'd like to answer without the Slashdot-typical hate-spewing like in your example.

There is a simple fact that will never change:

A game written in compiled machine code, running on a big box, will always be able to offer more than (multi-)interpreted platforms. Let alone limited mobile ones.
So those games will always be able to offer more bling, physics, enemy smartness, etc.
But those are only two (aesthetics and technology) of the four parts that every game consists of. And they are factors. (They are multiplied with each other.)

The other two are story of and gameplay (the essence of games).
Which can mostly be done perfectly well even with a sheet of paper, a pencil and a couple of rocks. (But without the aesthetics and all the technology, immersion will be much harder to achieve.)

And currently we have the situation, that big "game" companies have concentrated so much on the bling, that their output barely qualifies as games at all. While small independent developers rise up and do beautiful things with gameplay and story in the most limited environments. (Yes, like Flash.)
This obligatory XKCD hits the nail on the head (but doesn't know the above reasons): http://xkcd.com/484/ [xkcd.com]

So actually, Flash will simply be replaced by XHTML5 with JS, WebGL, web sockets, SVG, etc. Because it offers more features (like real 3D, and standardized open formats/interfaces). And as a result, small independents without big budgets will use it.

That's why think big companies abandoning the PC was the best thing that ever happened to the game "industry". May they go down with their locked-down consoles and Christmas tree ball games (shiny paper-thin outside, and hollow inside). While we fill the PCs with games that actually resonate with people and make them feel something again. (Tell me how you feel when you finished "The Company Of Myself", or when you are about to enter the water after having been to Saturn in "Dolphin Olympics". Or just when hearing an audio log in good old System Shock. :)

Oh, and the only reason they don't want installed games, is because they are part of the organized crime that invented the lie of "intellectual property" for their protection racket. We independents are not part of this. In fact we found out that we make more money and gain more respect, by staying in reality (software, by the laws of physics, is not a product and can not be sold, owned or stolen. Software development is a service.) and being nice to our clients.

Who would have thought? ^^

Running all games in a browser? (1)

gyaku_zuki (1778282) | about 3 years ago | (#37477934)

The idea of HTML5 and presumably Javascript replacing C, C++, Python, Perl, LUA, BASIC and all the other languages used to code games is ambitious. As is the idea that I will be content with my browser middle-manning all the code - have you seen how slow Firefox and Chrome can be rendering things, even on excellent hardware? Additionally, since many PC games are (unfortunately) console ports, will this mean that my console will just be an oversized browser? Doubtful.

Yes, maybe with time and a huge paradigm shift, this could happen. But frankly, people keep saying that the era of hard-media (discs, carts) games is ending, yet I still see shops like Game, GameStop, etc making a profit. This smacks to me of that. Whilst some MMOs could use this model (mostly crappy free-to-play in-game purchase models) I don't see the guys at Crytek making this swap anytime soon. Maybe in time for HTML8...

Re:Running all games in a browser? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37477994)

Additionally, since many PC games are (unfortunately) console ports, will this mean that my console will just be an oversized browser? Doubtful.

There are only two official ways for individuals to make video games and deploy them to the Wii. The first is the route used by WiiCade: make games as web applications, using either DHTML or Flash, and deploy them through Internet Channel powered by Opera. The other is to make them with WarioWare DIY for Nintendo DS and deploy them through WarioWare DIY Showcase. Anything native requires either an established company with a dedicated office and "relevant industry experience" on some other platform (source: warioworld.com) or a jailbreak that Nintendo will patch in the next version of Wii Menu.

Re:Running all games in a browser? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37478548)

Anyone who spends 500 Wii points ($5) for the Opera Wii browser can play pretty much any flash game on the net. The HTML5 stuff? You'll be lucky if it even loads.

HTML5 fixes a few problems, but it's NOT a gaming platform any more than a teaspoon is a shovel.

Internet Channel is freeware now (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478590)

Anyone who spends 500 Wii points ($5) for the Opera Wii browser

I thought Nintendo made Internet Channel freeware to all Wii Shop Channel users. For a while, it was 500 Nintendo Points, but Nintendo gave people who had bought it during that time a coupon for a free 500-point NES game.

The HTML5 stuff? You'll be lucky if it even loads.

If you stick to things that worked in Opera 9, it'll work on Internet Channel.

Re:Running all games in a browser? (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 3 years ago | (#37478160)

It's true, you can't achieve RAW PROCESSING POWER from HTML5, some software will still be written in C to take full advantage of the PC's hardware. HTML 5 is for the lazy programmers or amateurs to flood the market with more junk. Millions of useless apps, people looking to make a few dollars on their weekend projects.

Noooo! Flash, Flash, I love you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477936)

...but we only have 14 hours to save the earth!

Stop the presses! (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 3 years ago | (#37477942)

Two guys that you have never heard of, with an axe to grind and a desperate need for publicity, say something trollish-- er, provocative.

Seriously. This isn't news, it's a repost of someone else's slow news day.

With this new Flyswatter technology (1)

kikito (971480) | about 3 years ago | (#37477948)

... the nuclear bombs have become obsolete. Wars will be solved in flyswatter duels in a matter of minutes, with minimal costs!

Bandwidth limits... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 3 years ago | (#37477950)

... it's highly likely the bandwidth will be the constraining factor. Not only that but much of the world doesn't have a lot of bandwidth. These predictions keep forgetting about billions of middle class and poor in other countries besides the west.

The problem with HTML5... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477954)

...is there is no portability.
While this is good from a developers point of view, customers hate it, it is going to be a new age of hate, just as much as DRM.
And when that site of choice dies, bye-bye games.

Also the lack of binary storage in JS isn't exactly helping. Closest you'll get is that absolute mess that is base64, adding a 33% increase in size to files on average if I remember correct.
While you can store images and use those as storage, that means less portable as you now have at least 2 files. (3 if you count the initial HTML file to open it)
You also can't modify said storage method if you use the image. (yet)
Files API is pretty much non-existent yet. Just a draft last I checked.
No hardware support yet. This is still probably a decade away from being solid. So no cameras, no mics, no joysticks, nothing.

I hate Flash, but HTML5, hell, HTML6, will probably still be behind in what it can do. Wanna know why? Because Adobe GET THINGS DONE, unlike that awful excuse that is W3C group.
I've heard crap excuses like "oh we need to run millions of test cases" and other nonsense before.
If they are taking that long to run millions of test cases, makes me wonder what sort of crap-tier computer they are using. It is like someone lifted W3C straight out of the 80s.
Until we either get rid of W3C group, or expand / improve / upgrade / get rid of every current member / anything it, Adobe will always be a step ahead.
W3C will make damn sure that this future won't happen any time soon.

Microsoft won't have any choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37477958)

The, ahem... "Online Entertainment" industry has a huge investment in Flash video content. It's not just that all those films would have to be reencoded to HTML5 or some other format that Metro Explorer supplorts, but that the site operators would have to purchase new video compression tools that output HTML5.

Their disk space requirements would double as well, because for five or ten years there will be many users that cannot view HTML5 content, so those people will still be using Flash. Jeezus H-Bar Christ, my Apache logs tell me I still get lots of visitors that use Netscape 4!

Flash 9 video is MP4 anyway (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478682)

The, ahem... "Online Entertainment" industry has a huge investment in Flash video content. It's not just that all those films would have to be reencoded to HTML5 or some other format that Metro Explorer supplorts, but that the site operators would have to purchase new video compression tools that output HTML5.

They'd only have to buy reencoding tools if they had been using Sorenson Spark (H.263) in FLV files for Flash Player 6 and 7 or TrueMotion VP6 in FLV files for Flash Player 8. If they had been authoring for Flash Player 9 and up, they'd already have been encoding in MPEG-4 using H.264 and AAC, the format that Safari and Internet Explorer 9 prefer for the HTML5 video element.

Except for a rich experience (2)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 3 years ago | (#37477964)

Maybe I'm a little prejudiced, (I'm a game dev working on a more traditional MMO right now), but our customers still seem to be interested high-fidelity worlds, complete with rich graphics and audio. People have been shouting about how the thin client is the future for a decade or more now, and it simply never happens. There's still something to be said for the ability to create high-performance applications that can be run directly on the user's machine, in native code. We do incredibly demanding things, and the fact of the matter is that until we literally have more performance than we know what to do with, native binaries will always have a huge advantage when it comes to manipulating and displaying high-fidelity virtual worlds.

Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities in more specialized, smaller, niche markets, but to say everything is going that direction is a bit far-fetched. Granted, we're not oblivious to this direction, as we have a small team working on a lot of web-based and mobile integration initiatives, but I really hate when people are so quick to come to some sort of "all or nothing" conclusion about any new emerging market or technology.

Will HTML5 eventually kill Flash? Probably, if there is really good tool support. It it going to be the be-all and end-all for future MMOs? Yes and no... there will certainly be a move there, especially among games with lighter requirements, but big-budget native clients are going to be with us for quite a while still.

Resources (1)

jevring (618916) | about 3 years ago | (#37477982)

So, what, he expects to load gigabytes of resources like sounds and textues and video in realtime from the internet? If he doesn't, and he expects that to reside on disk in some HTML5 based storage, how is that not installation? What a fucking idiot...

And why should we listen to these two? (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#37478022)

Seriously, I've never heard of these guys. Looking in to it, they've created an HTML 5 game. Ok, wonderful, but two things about that:

1) Making one game does not make you an expert. They've managed to make a single (presumably successful) game. Ok, fine. I can point to thousands of successful non-HTML 5 games. If EA was saying this, I'd maybe give it some credit, but these guys have shown that you can make a game in HTML 5 (which we already knew) not that everything is going that way.

2) They may have some bias, given that their one and only game is HTML 5. They think they've found the One True Way(tm) and perhaps are a little blinded by that.

Personally I think they are dead wrong. Installed games are going to remain popular in part because people might like to be able to play a game when the Internet goes out or is unavailable, and let's please not pretend like that never happens. Also there is an issue of game resources. I happen to like games with cool graphics and sound. However those games often seem to need 5-20GB to pull that off. You propose to do that in HTML 5?

This is all ignoring the performance issue.

I'm sure we'll continue to see plenty of web games. We saw them back before HTML 5, it'll only help things. However I don't think everything will move that way. You might notice that no game technology has killed off the old ones. Handhelds didn't kill consoles, phones didn't kill handhelds, casual games didn't kill involved ones, and so on. Different games for different markets.

Re:And why should we listen to these two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478184)

they haven't created shit. look at their blog. a moving gllight and texturing IS NOT COOL. deformation tricks would be neat with webgl, not just pushing a model through a library.

hahahahahahah (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37478024)

predict the death of Flash, the rise of HTML5, and a long-term shift away from installed games

Death of Flash, and rise of HTML5? Flash was already an order of magnitude faster than HTML5 in some cases, and they claim it's more than another order of magnitude faster now. Flash is a single platform, HTML5 is a whole bunch of browsers, each of which is free to render differently. Flash runs places where you'd have trouble running Firefox (you can run a stand alone player.) Need I go on?

and a long-term shift away from installed games

How long-term? We don't have the bandwidth for everyone to use OnLive all the time, and even if we did, it's an inferior experience. Or do you just mean games that don't require install? That's not happening until games are distributed on solid state media.

Did not RTFA. Will not.

First of all, who the fuck are these guys... (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | about 3 years ago | (#37478026)

...and why the fuck do their predictions matter in the least?

Secondly: javascript has nowhere near the performance needed for anything but games with simple mechanics. You simply cannot afford the overhead of js when dealing with thousands of entities with AI at 60 frames per second. Either stuttering or excessive battery draining will happen.

As always, variety is good, and it is obvious that HTML5/js will be a good fit for many games. Many others will still require *at least* flash, silverlight (silverlight 5 will integrate XNA and may work on OS X, very interesting for a game dev), or even C/C++.

The last question is why does a new technology always seems to imply that alternatives will automatically shrink? The world is not a zero sum game, and we constantly *expand* our horizons...

Re:First of all, who the fuck are these guys... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478732)

You simply cannot afford the overhead of js when dealing with thousands of entities

A PlayStation 1 game on a 36 MHz CPU can deal with thousands of entities. Or is JIT compiled JavaScript on a modern device even slower than that?

with AI at 60 frames per second.

AI need not run at 60 frames per second. If you have, say, 2000 critters in your game, you can get away with running the AI for about 100 of them every frame and using dead reckoning to fill in the gaps.

why does a new technology always seems to imply that alternatives will automatically shrink?

If A is better than B, and the vast majority of developers flock to A, marketplace support for B will wither. For example, video game consoles proved more convenient than PCs that connect to TVs at one time, and so consoles became mainstream while home theater PCs are considered an extreme niche.

duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478044)

so...are they intentionally being morons? or was it accidental?

first, windows 8 WILL support flash, secondly HTML5 etc still is NOWHERE NEAR good enough to replace flash completely, and finally i guess they're assuming that everyone will immediately upgrade to win8 ? That's why IE6 doesn't exists any more right? Never mind the amount of people still on crappy connections.

This whole article smells like SEO bait...."hey let's write ANOTHER bullshit article saying how flash is gonna die soon and put windows 8 keywords in there too...oh and mention apple..."

Installed Games *with DRM* (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 years ago | (#37478056)

The major advantage of an installed game that is not defective by design is that you can play it without a fucking internet connection.

look who's talking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478060)

Okay, so two guys who've developed a browser-based game that's non-graphically intensive extrapolate their experiences to the rest of the gaming world? Uhhh, yeah.

Y'know Soulskill, just because someone's said something doesn't mean you need to grant them a platform. As much as I despised Taco's unprofessionalism, I really do miss his leadership of this site.

Amazing (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37478070)

So, an HTML5 developer that nobody's ever heard of thinks HTML5 is the way to go and not Flash and certainly not the installed games that are making Steam so successful because everybody just loves those "free to play" games and is flocking to them and abandoning games you have to pay for. Do I have that about right?

This is big news.

Re:Amazing (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about 3 years ago | (#37478740)

Wish I had mod points. I love Steam. Mid week deals on a few year old games for like $3-$8 (and sometimes 2-3 for that $8-12). And even newer games that go on sale. I know alot of people decry DRM, but Once I get it downloaded I can go offline, the steam client has small footprint, and I like it. Especially since I'm in the camp that media companies aren't going to give up on DRM, so the least intrusive that allows me easy access to many games, with a stable/small client I'm ok with.

How do you protect your code/IP in Javascript? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478076)

If you write a browser based HTML5 game then there is nothing you can do, it's open source. All your content, code, everything is available to anyone and everyone.

I just can't see how that model can survive. If you write a popular game there will be 50 Chinese clones popping up within days.

Is it confirmed though? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37478088)

What is Netcraft saying on this issue?

It's Adobe's Fault (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 3 years ago | (#37478096)

If Adobe would have gotten their heads out of their A.$$ and provided more support for other platforms then flash would still have a future. It started with lousy support on the IBooks powerpc, then Android, and Adobe doesn't make it easy to turn off Flash in your browser so it doesn't overpower everything. This is what happens when companies put things on hold and others fill those voids, Netflix is another good example.

DirectX vs openGL.....and the browser (1)

Danathar (267989) | about 3 years ago | (#37478100)

Does HTML5 use OpenGL? or does it have it's own graphics language that talks to the underlying stuff in the OS like OpenGL and DirectX?

IF OpenGL is being used directly within the browser this could be a BIG thing. Most developers use Direct3D and I would imagine Microsoft might be pushing silverlight because they don't want to undermine something they've worked very hard to standardize and control.

WebGL (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37478774)

HTML5 uses WebGL, an optional extension to the canvas element based on OpenGL. But as another comment points out [slashdot.org] , WebGL isn't fully there yet.

Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478138)

Yeah, tell ID to make RAGE work in flash with no 25gb installation. See how hard you get laughed out the door.

This does not account for human desire (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37478154)

Human desire is to collect and save the things we treasure or enjoy. For gamers who enjoyed 'whatever' back in the Windows 3.x/95/98 days, they may not be able to play those again but they still keep their old disks somewhere. People like to have the things they buy in their hands.

For publishers, this means they can't easily make people pay for the same thing over and over and over again which is, of course, their goal in all of this. I think the practice should simply be illegal as the meaning and purpose of copyrights and licenses and various agreements are getting twisted and abusive. I know I find myself being more than a little annoyed by it.

Re:This does not account for human desire (1)

Temkin (112574) | about 3 years ago | (#37478718)

Which is why I don't buy games that use Steam...

Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478162)

Currently we are heading towards the typical media format wars. Services will fight to have you sign up to their walled garden, they will want you to buy games that they keep or rent their service so you do not actually own anything.

There is a problem with the current model, games are run remotely, on a remote server. this causes lag and bandwidth limits.

The limiting factors are input lag and bandwidth.

Games are all heading to FullHD graphics if they are not already there, some will support higher resolutions and 3D, but let's set the target for 1080p standard for the next few years.

Currently, to stream good quality, compressed FullHD 1080p you need about 20mbps. So basically 2.5MB/sec. currently most ISPs cannot provide this sort of sustained bandwidth and there aren't that many people with these types of home connections.

Input lag, your local machine is responsive to your input devices, eg. mouse, keyboard. If you ever played an online game you'd know this typically does not change online.

The only solution (I can see) is to do/invent a way to do complete offloading to the local machine. So this means the game media will download to you computer or "stream" and play it locally.

Bandwidth will eventually catch up and 20mb will become standard in the coming years. Input lag will not exist if we're offloading to the local machine via browser.

Once again though, what will we have? a company owning the media needed to play and renting it out as a service. If you online connection fails, if you do not wish to be tracked. If the very idea of your gaming statistics being used for research etc. you'd not want to use this service.
You will have to pay a monthly fee to play X amount of games that company Y or Z provide, they will have your identity details, credit card and will not be liable if your internet connection drops out etc etc.

So now we come full circle, this remote gaming idea is nice, I'm sure it could work but how is it better than the current method for the CUSTOMER>?

This is the answer the games company need to create. A reason why this new service is better. How is it better than storing 100 ISO images on a local drive and playing games? if hardware differs, saves games , player preferences, settings etc, how will a game streaming service not need to install anything?

This entry doesn't belong here. (1)

serial-surfer (1909346) | about 3 years ago | (#37478192)

I don’t care if some no-names predict the future technology of an industry. Use a forum to post an opinion, not a news site.

Offline-play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478290)

'The major advantages that boxed set or download games have had over browser-based games are local storage and direct access to the graphics and audio engines.

Am I getting old, or does no-one like to play offline or prefer not be constrained by network speeds any more?

BG Dev predicts End of all Non-BGs. News at 11. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 3 years ago | (#37478308)

I've been doing Rich Client Development for the last 11 years, been in the front line of Flash Development and the development with other rich client solutions including the newest Ajax + HTML5 + CSS3 fray and have worked on and with some of the most ambitions Browsergame Projects on the Planet. And I agree, Rich Client has a lot going for it these days, especially with all the mobile and tablet stuff and them 10 bazillion plattforms all over the place like it's the 80ies all over again.

But predicting the end of Non-Browser Games is just plain non-sense. Even my Nintendo DSi with Professor Layton in it right now - a Game that would be laughably easy to port to a Browser, even for a mobile device - will tell you this is bullshit.

Bottom line: These guys are just dickwaving because they managed to actually finish a neat BG and they now feel like the king of the hill because their signups are up and the micropayments cash is rolling in. Meanwhile Crylabs is building their next release that will come on a disk, cost 50€ and will be yet another big hit.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Looking at this another way... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 years ago | (#37478328)

Quoting: 'The major advantages that boxed set or download games have had over browser-based games are local storage and direct access to the graphics and audio engines. Those barriers are being smashed apart by HTML5. ... Especially for MMO game developers

I agree with the comment on the advantages, and think those advantages aren't going to go away until really fast internet is available cheaply. Until then, doing everything in the cloud and pushing reams of data over wire is a serious limitation to broader acceptance.

What I do see is a shift in how games are played - which is moving to a very different way of developing the gaming experience. Gaming initially was a solitary experience - everything you needed was contained in a box and you played when and where you wanted. As the method of playing began to change to more tram and multiplayer games how the gaming experience was delivered began to change. That change is still underway, and is driving the move to browser-based games Because that technology can deliver the desired experience in a satisfying manner. It's not the technology, but the gaming experience, that is driving the change. technology may limit the speed of the change; but it is not driving the change. If gamers did not move to more multi-player games the technological advances would have no impact on gaming.

You could argue that without the technological advances the gaming experience wouldn't change, which is true; but without the demand of rteh new experience technology alone would not bring it about. There is a reason people still play cards and chess in person - it delivers the desired experience even if it is centuries old technology.

Data caps meet megatextures (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 3 years ago | (#37478336)

Nuff said.

Extra, extra!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478392)

Extra, extra!!

HTML programmer thinks web programming is the future and download games are doomed!!

Read All About it on Slashdot!!

Also scientist discover water is wet, fish could swim and birds could fly!!, everything in the interior comments!

Slashdot posting is the future of gaming! (1)

Warwick Allison (209388) | about 3 years ago | (#37478426)

I predict that future gaming will be all based on posting comments to /. since it gives the perfect mix of casual and hardcore, without the hardware requirements that most can no longer afford. Please submit my learned prediction as a story to a rubbish news site.

Well there is one barrier disappearing (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37478438)

A major advantage of non-browser games is that they don't require an internet connection and with always-on DRM this barrier is, in fact, disappearing.

Doubt It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478496)

Games have become increasingly data hungry. The World of Warcraft install uses 33.2gb of data on my hard drive. That includes cut scenes, voice acting, images of items thousands of 3D models, character profiles, NPC AI code, storylines, and tons of epic features. With that in mind, I've seen browser based games that are fully 3D. One written in Java that has impressive graphics, but it is no where near the quality of World of Warcraft. These Game Devs are being as stupid as Steve Jobs. Flash will remain as long as HTML5 lacks features that developers need, which if you compare the list of features side by side, Flash not only kills HTML5, it destroys it. Game installs will continue also as long was we have epic games with involved storylines, voice acting, complex AI, and loads of other features.

These Game Devs should really think through what they are saying.

Meanwhile (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#37478524)

Game Devs Predict Death of Flash, Installed Games, meanwhile ISPs introduce bandwidth caps, usage limits, per-MB pricing dashing the game devs hopes.

Yea, you're going to run streaming video @ 1920x1080 and up, with surround sound and 0 latency for an MMO that addicts are going to play for 12hrs+ per day and the ISPs are just going to roll over and take it... I think not.

STOP ABUSING ENGLISH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478558)

A comma is not a semi-colon. Stop using it as such in headlines.

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37478724)

HTML5 replacing flash ok, replacing native executables? Call me when it happens.

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