Adobe Flash has gotten a bad rap in the past few years. With the all-mighty Apple snubbing it on mobile devices, people have begun to talk about an inevitable end for the multimedia platform. But last month Flash got a much needed revamp. The new Flash player 11 brings nearly console quality 3D to a browser near you. This is a huge change for the platform and will hopefully begin to improve users’ views of the system.
In recent years, Flash has become something of a black sheep on the Internet, and yet millions of people use it on a daily basis. Flash powers a multitude of social games on Facebook including The Sims Social, Bejeweled Blitz, and the wildly popular Farmville. Flash is also responsible for much of the streaming video we watch online from sources YouTube, Hulu and virtually every news network. With such a huge built-in user base, the adoption rate of the updated Flash player will hopefully be fairly swift, allowing designers to utilize new features with less worry of incompatibility issues.
While the new Flash player is being touted as a system for creating console-quality 3D games, games aren’t the only place where it shines. By allowing designers to leverage GPU over CPU, Flash lets designers do more with less of a slowdown to users’ computers. With Flash 11, interactive Web experiences not only get faster, but also have a higher visual fidelity than before. Augmented reality also gets a boost in speed allowing for more intricate experiences. You want more detailed 3D product views? Flash 11 has it covered. Imagine buying a car and being able to see full interiors and move around it in space. Flash 11 can power all of that 3D on the fly, allowing for greater interactivity and easier customization. Soon, Flash may even let you take that car out for a virtual test drive.
All of this may not seem groundbreaking or revolutionary at first, but it’s going to change the Internet experience for everyone—not just gamers. The disparity between desktop and console quality 3D experiences is quickly eroding, which opens the door for a much better user experience on desktop browsers, mobile devices and yes, video game consoles.