Here: Google Chrome Web Store

By Alec Meer on December 8th, 2010 at 9:42 pm.

I can’t tell you how often we hear the same plea: “Dear RPS, please can you fix it for me to be even more bewildered than I already am by the vast array of different ways to digitally purchase PC games?” Your prayers have been answered. Added to your DirectToGoodOldSteamGetGates today is Chrome Web Store – Google’s browser-based plan to muscle in on PC gaming (and apps too, but let’s face it: games).

Snark aside, it’s a markedly different prospect to the existing stores.

For a start, everything on it works within a browser, and a browser only – but only Google’s own Chrome, for now at least (someone’ll probably hack it). I quite like Chrome so I’m okay, but I guess someone’s going to say something pissed-off about Opera support below, as usual.

For a second, its remit is strictly on the casual side for now. Lofty plans are in motion for fancy-pants HTML5 and Unity-powered games, but for now relatively lo-fi stuff is all you’re getting. Plants vs Zombies is nominally the highlight, but at present it’s just the demo version, and when prompted to buy the full one it just directs you to download the traditional version for $20, which is super-sucky (the better-looking HD version on iPad is only $10, for cocks’ sakes).

Still, early days – and certainly, installing and running stuff via Chrome is ludicrously simple. Could blossom into something very interesting. It isn’t one yet, I have to say, and it looks far too austere in its current form to boot. It doesn’t inspire exploration and adoption, but as Google is the beta-lovin’ company I don’t doubt that will change.

Clearly, it’s Google attempting to do an Apple on PC. I don’t doubt we’ll see Microsoft attempt similar in the not too distant, and indeed a rush of people trying to capitalise on minimal-click purchase’n'play. Will these be interesting times for PC gaming – or dark ones? Most likely, this’ll simply exist alongside what we already know. If anything, it’s more about Google’s impending Chrome OS than just the browser, I suspect.

Go explore – any gems in there?

, .

75 Comments »

  1. Skurmedel says:

    No Opera support!!! :)

  2. fallingmagpie says:

    Not that I can see. Give it time, I suppose. Google have got too much money, and this is too big an opportunity, for them not to get this right.

  3. Hides-His-Eyes says:

    I use opera and really, it’s fine, serves me right

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, and it has a very cool and lightweight built-in email client, feed reader and irc support.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      It’s also the only browser I tried out where you can open 50 tabs at the same time and all of them will load without error.

    • Urael says:

      Version 11 is shaping up to be something very special, too, now that extension support means I can finally use it with Lastpass.

  4. pakoito says:

    I’m already making a crappy flash game to improve the store even more.

  5. mlaskus says:

    There are hardly any apps or games to be excited about yet. It’s mostly just bookmarks disguised as apps.

    • rayne117 says:

      I heard that’s what these “apps” are, for the most part.

  6. Mark says:

    Haven’t had a chance to confirm, but the New York Times app is said to be quite slick. Games? I was hoping you guys could tell me.

  7. utharda says:

    What, I have opera support in chrome. For Example, heres the download page for the score to the first act of Rigoletto.

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Rigoletto_(Verdi,_Giuseppe)

    no opera support my foot.

  8. Carra says:

    Featured: Real Patience.

    Ok, not interested.

  9. Linfosoma says:

    I love it how if it wasn’t for this I would have never encountered the store. For a corporation that gets all their revenue from adds they are not very good at advertising their own stuff aren’t they?

    • pakoito says:

      It’s on both the new tab page and over half the internet news sites…I’d say thats pretty good ads.

  10. V says:

    Well, I see Puzzle Pirates in there, so yes, there’s at least one gem.

  11. Mike says:

    Chrome is so wonderful. This makes me all happy.

  12. Magrippinho says:

    I don’t know about “fancy-pants HTML5 games” but “The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2″ is already in there.

  13. Kaira- says:

    Although I use Chrome and Gmail, I don’t think I’ll use this. Google knows too much about me as it is.

  14. Todd says:

    I actually worked on Entanglement, pictured above, so I’d be curious what people think.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of the “these are just disguised links” complaints and while I can understand the gut reaction, I think it’s interesting that it’s getting to the point that difference between a link and an icon on your desktop is relatively minimal.

    With regards to Entanglement, actually installing the game will allow it to load faster because you won’t be downloading all the art every time you load the game (you can only cache so much in a normal browser). So, it’s a small but meaningful difference.

    • Moni says:

      I tried the game out after reading your post, and ended up playing it for a while. It’s a really swish little time killer. Good job!

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      I grabbed entanglement last night, as my “test” for the Chrome store. Cool little game. I personally love Chrome, and using any other browser really feels clunky to me now. Which isn’t to say that Chrome has no short-comings, but they are small and mostly addressed by extensions.

    • Todd says:

      Cool, glad you guys enjoyed the game. I agree it’s a good way to burn a few minutes. We’re looking to expand the experience a little more in the future (and hopefully make some money off of it).

  15. Bennus says:

    Somesort of Slay type game/app would do just that to productivity (was reminded of it somehow, just seems to fit perfectly).

  16. Eclipse says:

    btw, OPERA RULES.

  17. Grape Flavor says:

    lol, no deal! What’s the appeal of Chrome, really? I tried it just this week and it was the fastest install-to-uninstall I ever did. I’ve had to use Safari and I thought it was minimalist and stripped down in features compared to Firefox. But Chrome is just unusable.

    I realize it performs better on benchmarks, but at some point, isn’t something “good enough”? Are people’s lives really that busy that saving a few milliseconds is truly helping them? Is stripping away the last 15 years of browser progress a good tradeoff?

    To me, the browser is crap. To those who like it, fine, your choice, I don’t begrudge you. But if someone could tell me what they find so great about Chrome that I presumably missed in my short trial, I’d be much obliged.

    • pakoito says:

      So you tried it for 10 minutes and then uninstalled? Good kid, good.

      The thing about chrome is that it’s stripped from everything you don’t really use everyday at every moment: you browse, you save tabs, you close it. If you do miss stuff, well you have firefox to go back to, or you can load a couple of extensions in literally one click. Also, desktop to RPS in less than 5 seconds; load in RAM: 80~120 megs with flash.

    • toro says:

      He didn’t say that he only used for 10 minutes. And I didn’t know desktop to RPS in less than 5 seconds is a feature :P

      Anyway to quote you: “The thing about chrome is that it’s stripped from everything you don’t really use everyday at every moment: “… *cough* privacy *cough*… :)

    • Ziv says:

      “desktop to RPS in less than 5 seconds” my new benchmark for everything in the world.

    • noobnob says:

      To be fair, most features present in browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Opera and even the loathed Internet Explorer are just overkill for most. I appreciate Firefox for what it is, because that’s what I still use, but truth be told I hardly do use it to its full potential. If there’s something that I really miss on Chrome are proper History management tools, but I can cope with that most of the time.

      It’s also really light in terms of resource consumption, and the extensions in Chrome didn’t give me awful memory leaks as Firefox did, not yet.

    • JuJuCam says:

      I’ve been using Chrome since it’s release, and prior to that I was a devoted Firefox advocate (was using that since it was called Phoenix).

      To me Chrome exemplified all of the traits that I found attractive in Firefox way back when I began to use that browser: Light, minimal, fast and modular. Well not so much modular at release obviously, but it showed promise and has mostly delivered.

      Nowadays Firefox feels to me like IE 6 did before I switched to Phoenix. Too much browser. I still think FF is excellent but I couldn’t use it day-to-day. I guess it’s a matter of aesthetics, but when I’m looking at a website I want to be looking at the website, and not at whatever other distractions are surrounding it.

    • pakoito says:

      @toro

      *cough* synchronization is not mandatory *cough* Ctrl+Mayus+T for safe tab *cough* paranoid conspiracy

      I guess you also don’t have Facebook, never seen twitter, your blog is obfuscated, your internet is set up by proxy and you wipe your cookies after every session. Or even worse, you use “bing”. Anything less is letting the Big Brother win, commarade.

    • Wulf says:

      I use Firefox.

      I don’t have a big shiny reason, I just agree with the Mozilla group philosophically more than I do with any other. It’s not the shiniest browser, it’s not the fastest, but it is the most open, and by far the most versatile and extendible. In those two last areas, it’s leagues ahead of everything else, including Chrome. Not to mention that Firefox 4 is just as fast as Chrome in everything but HTML 5, and it’s catching up there as well as they go optimisation nuts on it. Fx 4 may surprise people.

      I’m not an ‘average’ sort of spod, I like an entirely personalised experience, this goes for my computer and all of my software. I feel that one thing they’ve stripped out of Chrome is ‘you’, and that goes for a lot of the browsers out there. It’s more about making a flashy project, and less about making something that you can make your own. This is a very un-PC like attitude in my opinion. Isn’t modding one of the cornerstones of our format, after all?

      6,000 installations of Chrome will be entirely the same down to the last detail, but I can assure you that you’ve never seen a Firefox quite like mine, and I’m certain that’s true for a lot of Fx users.

      At the end of the day, it’s philosophy.

      Do you want something that reflects you, or something that’s just fast, quick, and easy to use?

      If you’re going to pick the latter option, then why not consider switching to consoles for most of your gaming funsies too, because consoles actually better support that philosophy, the PC is an on-and-off experience in that regard, but it is infinitely more perrsonalisable, versatile, and customisable. In the end, I’d say that IE is the 360 of browsers, Chrome is the PS3 of them (a little better but the prime philosophy is still product > person), and Firefox is the PC.

    • pakoito says:

      Your point was good until you told me to turn to consoles. I do both PC and toys, I also tinker lots of my stuff but I like chrome for being faster and synched, period.

    • noobnob says:

      Wulf, that was your choice, and that choice could be made due to the fundamental nature of the PC platform: being open. Suggesting to switch to consoles and sacrificing the capability of configuring your machine and software as you see fit just because one decided to use a “less open” browser is silly.

    • Nova says:

      I’m more bewildered as to how someone who uses the web more than occasionally (or casually, to put it that way) can be satisfied with Chrome.
      I mean there are still no proper bookmarks? You only get them when you open a new tab? RSS feeds? You can’t customize toolbars? The context menu on websites surely is a joke? And that’s just some basic stuff that I’ve seen right from the bat. I’m not even mentioning slightly more advanced things like mouse gestures or fast-search on sites other than google.

      Concerning the minimalism: It’s all about customization. (http://is.gd/iqK93).
      btw: The small footprint seems to be not so small after all with the same tabs open in both browsers. (http://is.gd/iqKmj) Not that it matters much with all the RAM available these days.

    • James says:

      @Nova

      What do you mean it has no proper bookmarks, I sure can bookmark stuff simply going Ctrl+D (same as firefox).

      I’ve used Chrome for about 4 months now, and can’t see my self going back to FF, as much as I like it, FF (for me at least) seems to be really slow and every once and awhile it steals all my ram all of a sudden (if it has been on for any longer periods of time). Chrome on the other hand just works, doesn’t crash, doesn’t steal memory and on top of that does everything I need it to.

    • Tei says:

      I use chrome, normally wen I type r, the browser autocomplete rockpapershotgun, If I type g, it put gmail.com

      I may miss the extensions of firefox, but the original deal for firefox was speed, and chrome is faster, so the new firefox is chrome. Google Chrome is Firefox 2.0. While Mozilla Firefox is Netscape Navigator 2.0. I love firefox, but I have to admit that is fat and slow nowdays :-(

    • Calabi says:

      I use chrome, and the bookmarks thing was confusing for me they changed it from what it used to be. To get them back you just have to open a new tab then right click on the bookmarks bar, and there are your options.

      I think software is just software, I want it to do what it does and do it well. I dont care if it has an attitude a philosophy or you can make it look like its snowing. I also wish more programs went away from the covention of having file edit menu etc.

    • Mark Raymond says:

      For me, Chrome treads the line between being customisable and being streamlined. It’s fast and minimalist, and it does exactly what I need it to do, while Firefox feels slow and bloated in comparison. Chrome isn’t perfect (there was a time I was suffering crash after crash with it) but I truly believe it’s the better experience overall.

    • bwion says:

      I tried out Chrome when it was first released (and I’m sure there’ve been improvements since then). And it’s a fine browser once you come to grips with its odd interface choices, but honestly it didn’t do anything I didn’t already have with Opera, and while it may have been faster, the difference wasn’t sufficient to get me to really notice or care that much.

      If I’m going to switch to a new browser (or a new anything, really), it needs to offer an immediate and tangible benefit over what I’m using currently. Chrome didn’t. (Or it needs to catch me in just the right mood where I’ll switch on a whim. And Chrome didn’t.)

      Not bothered by anyone else’s choices, obviously; the software someone else uses is almost certainly none of my business.

    • Urael says:

      So what OS are you using, Wulf? Windows or Linux?

      I don’t think the PC should be too closely linked with the desire to customise everything to suit the user. How far does that philosophy go? Compiling your own versions of software a la Gentoo Linux? Sometimes you don’t want fiddly customisation to get in the way of what you’re trying to do. How many people choose an IM D.I.Y kit-build client like Miranda over something complete like Pidgin? I’d say they’re in the minority.

      While it’s nice to have the option to customise – its certainly a strength of the platform – we should also celebrate the things that ‘just work’ for everyone without excessive fiddling.

    • Alastayr says:

      There’s just so much hilarity in this thread, are most people even aware of it?

      It’s a browser, for fudge’s sake. What could you possibly use it for? I don’t get this holy war. As long as you’re not using IE8 or lower you’ll be largely fine.

      Back when Chrome came out it did what Mozilla should’ve done ages ago: it threw out everything and only invited the most vital features back in. Google bet on the users’ willingness to create and maintain addons for increased functionality, just like Mozilla pioneered. Their mantra is also to consistently move everything onto the page / tab, away from the program. This is in line with Google being a service provider.

      So why should your browser have an RSS reader when there’s Google Reader? Why a mail client when there’s GMail? You can sync bookmarks with your Google Account. Have you guys even seen the new pdf engine in Chrome 8? I routinely open ~60-80 tabs at once without any hitch. The sandboxing makes it close to impossible to lose work due to crashes on unrelated tabs. Every Greasemonkey script runs natively in Chrome. I could go on.

      I have all three modern browsers installed and I get the most out of Chrome simply because it’s fast and powerful. Firefox was my main browser for years but it’s slow and unwieldy nowadays. I’ll try out 4.x as soon as it’s out properly and if it’s better- hey of course I’ll switch without hesitation.

      But Opera, Opera just hates me.

  18. noobnob says:

    What the…some of the games just install a shortcut that redirects you to the original page where the game is actually being hosted. It’s going to end up working as an additional bookmark page, though it’s pretty neat you can sync your purchases (no I didn’t buy anything, just trying free apps) with your Google account.

  19. Brumisator says:

    OOOOOhhh, plants Vs. zombies, for 0 currency! me likes!
    I’m on chrome anyway, so this is win win for me.

    EDIT: DOH! silly me, of course it’s a demo.

  20. Ziv says:

    Guys, this store isn’t a competitor to any of the big stores. It’s meant to compliment google’s new os chrome OS (I’d suggest a wikipedia on that if you don’t know what it is-it’s quite different to everything we’ve got yet). There will never be any “hardcore”/”real gamers” games there, at max a couple of indies that can easily port their stuff. The purpose of the store is to give poeple using chrome OS easy access to webapps (again check wikipedia to get grips on the whole’Chrome OS’ thing-a-majing).

  21. GenBanks says:

    You mean ImpulseLiveDirectToGoodOldSteamGetGates

  22. gulag says:

    Knightfall looks like an interesting game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKE9jhPeXcc&feature=player_embedded

    Think Puzzle Quest, but with Tetris/Columns instead of Bejeweled.

    • pakoito says:

      I played it and it’s not like that at all.

      You start in one square, then you rotate the dungeon, some blocks crush and you fall, so you keep rotating until you get the key block and reach the exit one. If you find a monster stronger than you -1life, or something like that.

    • gulag says:

      You sir should review games for a living. I have never before seen a game reduced to it’s core concepts in such an erudite and insightful fashion.

      Or something like that.

  23. Tei says:

    This fancypants games seems lots of fun :-D
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/loamdenijebhollnjgehcfbnpeelfhlk#

    note to google: what a horrible unhuman url!.

    I tried to search Google Chrome in the iPad for fun and giggles… I can’t see it (but I doubt most stuff would work anyway)
    Humm… the canavalt “app” just redirect the browser to a page, hehe..

    Theres a tool for twitter… tweekdeck… humm… is almost there, but need polish.

    • Thants says:

      It’s not the page for a game named Loamdenijebhollnjg: Ehcfbn Peelfhlk?

  24. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    I wouldn’t change browsers just to use a bookmark aggregator, frankly.

  25. ddthesm says:

    “I don’t doubt we’ll see Microsoft attempt similar in the not too distant, and indeed a rush of people trying to capitalise on minimal-click purchase’n’play.”

    It’s already here? MSN Games has been around for a while:

    http://zone.msn.com/en-us/home

    Some good games on there too! (well…for casual play at least)

  26. dadioflex says:

    The rumour is/was that an App store would be built into Windows 8, which isn’t THAT far off – couple of years allegedly. They should do something sooner.

    I’m loving the iPod/iPad app store. Probably more than I’m enjoying PC gaming these days.

    • Vodka & Cookies says:

      I think it unlikely an app store could be built into Windows any time Microsoft try to build in advanced functionality within Windows other company’s throw a tantrum & claim anti-trust issues.

      Even the free MS anti-virus app which isn’t distributed with windows came under attack by anti-virus companies as it was offered through Microsoft update which is an opt in service so not available by default.

    • Tei says:

      Linux has used software channels for years, way before Apple or everyone. The way you manage the problem of different sources, is having a central configuration where you add new repositories. It could work like that: you double click a file, and a popup shows “Do you want to add the Channel Norton Software (Signed)”, clicking yes would add another channel, so if you search “antivirus” you see the norton antivirus, and If you enter “norton” you see all his software.

      Really, working like that is smooth, and helps preserve the computer in good state (you rarelly have any problem with a Linux, even if you install and uninstall a lot of software, because the uninstalling is clear and is well designed ). In comparation, Windows is like a caveman idea of a weapon compared to a ICBM. I can’t understand why windows still don’t have a App Store and good virtual desktop support. Computers are almost unusable withouth these two features.

  27. Mohammad says:

    They’ve already got fart apps – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search?q=fart

  28. Lajcik says:

    Why do we need this in a browser anyway? Sure it’s better than flash games, but still. It’s a BROWSER. Ehh…

    • Premium User Badge

      Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      WebGL is why – and to some extend Google’s Native Client.
      Remember how troublesome it can be to install or run a game designed for Windows 95 in a current version of Windows (Linux usually runs them just fine by the way)? This won’t happen when the thing is built on open web technologies – that’s one good reason; build-once-run-everywhere is another.

  29. bonjovi says:

    Give me Farm Frenzy on this one!!!

  30. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    omfg why doesn’t someone at these companies explain to the people in charge that apple took a closed system, mobile phones and opened it up just a tiny bit to get the app store and that trying to take an open system and close it up, like a PC or Mac while offering precisely 0 benefits WILL NOT WORK!

    On top of that Google still insist that we should be running apps that run perfectly well on their own in a browser! I see the benefit for Google if this succeeds but in order for it to succeed there needs to be a perceptible benefit to at least 1 other group of people.

  31. Urael says:

    “and it looks far too austere in its current form to boot”

    Google Chrome or the new store? :P