It’s been a rough old time recently for Mozilla. First they find that their browser Firefox has slipped down the into third place behind the ever-dominant Internet Explorer and Google’s Chrome, and then they find their lucrative search deal with Google pulled, leaving them quite out of pocket.
With falling user numbers and falling revenues, Mozilla need to act fast to save the platform. Which is why the release of a new API, allowing gamepads to be used to control elements within the browser, is particularly interesting.
The Gamepad API lets wired Xbox 360 controllers and a number of other wired and wireless PC gamepads be recognised within the browser. Simple applications like trigger buttons to go forward and back in web pages will likely pop up soon, but there’s perhaps a more ingenious plan here at work from Mozilla.
Could they be preparing to position their software as the browser for gamers?
Think about it; browser based, social gaming is growing at an incredible rate, and HTML5 coding is allowing for ever-more impressive in-browser gaming. A browser that had native gamepad support would be well positioned to ride the growing wave.
But look at the trail-blazing path being laid by game streamers OnLive. Very soon, a web browser and a decent internet connection may be all you need to play the very best, graphically intensive gaming titles.
Could we be playing future Grand Theft Auto or Elder Scrolls games in a Firefox window? Perhaps!