Mozilla showcases Unreal Engine 4 running in Firefox with no plugins

For nearly a year, we've known that Epic was porting Unreal Engine 4 to the web. Now, the folks at Mozilla have posted a video of the engine in action. The teaser shows a couple of demos, one of which has impressive graphics—relatively speaking, anyway.

Mozilla claims these demos are running in Firefox at "near native speeds." The accompanying blog post provides more detail. It says performance is within 67% of full speed, which is a definite improvement over the 40% figure quoted for last year. There's still a ways to go before the web engine match native implementations, of course, but further performance improvements are expected.

Even 67% of native performance sounds good when one considers that Unreal Engine 4 is running completely inside the browser. There are no plug-ins involved, which could enable a seamless experience across a broad variety of platforms, including mobile devices.

Epic did a web version of Unreal Engine 3, so this isn't its first attempt. Company founder and engine developer Tim Sweeney believes the web "has a crucial part to play in the future of game development and deployment." If you want to see what Unreal Engine 3 can do in a modern browser, check out the free Monster Madness Online alpha. The game looks better than any other web title I've seen, and that's with the previous generation's technology. Unreal Engine 4 should let developers kick things up a few notches.

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