Is QUAKE LIVE the Future of Gaming?

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Quake LiveQUAKE LIVE was launched to eager Internet gamers earlier this week. The new game is based on the 10 year-old critically acclaimed Quake III by 3D gaming experts id Software. However, this version is free and is played directly within a browser anywhere and at any time.

Quake Live action shotThe game has been insanely popular during the first few days. If you have managed to play it, then you are one of the lucky ones. Many people were left waiting in virtual queues that exceeded 50,000 in depth. Id Software have apologized for the problems and are working on a solution. However, you are unlikely to get a quick blasting fix unless you are very, very patient.

Although the game is browser-based, there are some limitations:

  • it is only available to Windows PC users – there is no news about Mac or Linux availability as yet
  • it only works in IE7 or Firefox 3 (not version 3.1) – so Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Lynx fans are likely to disappointed
  • you need to install a browser plug-in to play.

Quake Live actionThere are rumors that the game is developed using Adobe Flash, although the dedicated plug-in is likely to handle much of the graphical gaming effort. The browser is primarily used as the game’s delivery mechanism rather than being the basis for its implementation.

However, it is early days. Whether you assume QUAKE LIVE to be truly browser-based or not, the game matches the quality, playability, and speed of console-based gaming a generation or two ago. Until now, Flash and browser games have been simplistic but perhaps this high-profile release offers a glimpse into the future direction of the games industry.

Have you managed to play QUAKE LIVE? Did you need to wait long? Was the game any good and would you recommend it? Could this be the start of high-end on-demand browser gaming?

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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