Look at Unreal Engine 4 running in Firefox

When it comes to gaming, “browser-based” is seemingly synonymous with ugly graphics and clunky gameplay. Looks like Epic Games and Mozilla are out to change that, today unveiling just how the Unreal Engine 4 works within Firefox.

While we’ve seen a few games pop up using UE3, this is the first time we’ve seen the latest engine in action – that’s a standard browser with no additional plug-ins.

The browser is using Emscripten to compile C and C++ code into asm.js, a high-performance subset of JavaScript, and combining that with the WebGL 3D graphics API.

The result? Near-native speeds, right in your browser.

In fact, Mozilla has been improving asm.js’s performance, bringing it from 40% of native up to nearly 70% – but there are still issues with JavaScript and multithreading.

Want to see it properly in action? Look at Monster Madness, the first commercial web game to use Unreal 3/asm.js – this is a quick bit of proof: Jeremy Stieglitz, CTO of developer NomNom Games said that it took just one day to port the game to the web, suggesting new ports can’t be too far off.

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