We talk a lot about the different features and perks of various operating systems and the programs that work on them. There's often a decent amount of coherence between similar systems (or even similar versions of the same systems). But there’s one area that one Linux system vs. another, or Ubuntu vs. Windows can bring about problems, and that's gaming.

HTML 5 usage, ilustration

Historically speaking, online and mobile games work better on some platforms than others. That isn’t to say there’s not plenty of crossover, particularly when it comes to mobile. The app stores for Android and iOS devices have a great deal of overlap in regard to games. But in general some systems work better for games than others—to the point that it’s not surprising to see conversations about the best Linux systems for gaming, or the best Ubuntu game offerings.


However, HTML5 can change this to some extent. First introduced in 2014, it has the ability to make gaming work the same no matter what operating system, platform, or device it's running on. One of the main values is in adapting browser-based games so that they work on different popular browsers as well as on Android and iOS devices. And while a lot of the benefits of HTML5 have yet to be realized on a broad scale, we’re starting to see some real improvement in gaming.

Yahoo Japan recently launched a web-based gaming platform specifically designed to blur the lines between HTML5 browser games and high-end console titles. The idea is for this platform to use cloud streaming to make actual consoles and gaming systems all but irrelevant. Top quality HTML5 games and console titles alike will be available in a browser format, presumably using any system you like. With a platform like this, the difference between various versions of Linux won’t matter as much for gamers.

HTML5 has also helped the casino gaming business to evolve, despite its being famously difficult across different platforms. Browsers and operating systems have long cooperated better with some gaming sites than others. But for the past two years casino developers have focused more on using HTML5 to make their popular offerings more accessible. As one announcement for a new game put it, there comes a time in every game developer’s life to abandon old technologies and embrace new ones—in this case, HTML5. This is actually an accurate assessment of the state of the online gaming market, and speaks to the ongoing evolution of HTML5.

Perhaps most notably, a report earlier this summer showed that the data suggests HTML5 games are now the most popular ones online. It took a few years, but we now know that in at least one sample size 60 percent of games that are rated “great” are HTML5, rather than Flash. It’s clear where the best browser games are coming from, and that’s more good news for those who have ever been frustrated with the issues that come up playing games on one system versus another.


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