Mozilla's not playing around when it comes to convincing you that the Web isn't dead. Its latest effort to showcase the power of modern Web technology comes in the form of a Humble Bundle of popular games with complex graphics for the humble Web browser.
Released on Tuesday and available for the next two weeks, the pay-what-you-want Humble Mozilla Bundle includes fan-favorite indie titles like Voxatron, FTL: Advanced Edition, Aaaaaa! for the Awesome, and Democracy 3. Eight titles in total are included, with a ninth game to be announced next Tuesday. You can also download the bundle if you pledge more than the current average.
To help promote the Bundle, Mozilla has embedded Voxatron in its home page, similar to a Google Doodle. Bill Maggs, Mozilla's director of product management, told CNET that in-browser games offer a lot to gamers -- if browsers can meet the tough standards for in-game graphics.
"ASM.js is still not ready to take on the entire PC gaming world, but I don't think that the Crysis moment is too far off," Maggs said, referring to when you'll be able to get graphics as complex as those in the popular first-person shooter game.
Since then, ASM.js has helped Epic gets its Unity published its benchmarks for browsers versus native code, and made the benchmarking tool available to anyone who wants to test their browser. Unity found Firefox optimized for ASM.js to be second only to native code, with Chrome and Safari lagging.without plugins and gaming platform to the Web, major accomplishments that herald the beginning of the end for browser plugins like Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight. Just last week,
Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham said he expects gamers to take to the Mozilla offering not just for the games but also for the more streamlined workflow.
"There's very little left that you don't do in a browser, and native gaming, first class gaming, is one of those," he said. "You can go straight from purchasing a game to playing it, and not have to wrestle with third-party apps."
Even though ASM.js is intended for cross-browser use, it definitely runs faster in Firefox than any other browser. Google has made some ASM.js optimizations to Chrome, and those changes are also on Microsoft's roadmap for Internet Explorer.
Maggs said ASM.js is fast approaching a "theoretical maximum" speed of about 1.2 times the speed of native code, a point at which he said most people would be comfortable playing games with complex graphics.
ASM.js has become a key weapon in the fight by browser makers to prove they still matter, and the strategy to employ gamers to buy in -- literally, in the case of the Mozilla bundle -- shows this war is far from over.