It used to be that if you wanted to play games on your PC you had to have a powerful rig in order to run anything. It's still true that for the biggest AAA games, you'll need a computer with some serious specs. However, if you're just looking to play for a little bit every so often, there are plenty of other options. Browser games have come a long way from the flash games of long ago. With HTML5, gamers are able to enjoy console-quality experiences right from their browsers, and they're often free to play.
Games available for browsers are now involved, complex titles that run the entire gamut of genres. Everything from first-person shooters and real-time strategies to puzzles and even more traditional casual titles can now be run directly through your browser, no installs or hardware required.. And it's much more than just ports of classic titles refitted for Chrome (though those are always fun). Even popular modern titles are being developed with browsers in mind. The popular independently developed shooter, SUPERHOT was initially developed for browsers and released for free, leading to a huge amount of publicity as the game went on to become a surprising hit. The game helped to set a new standard for how to properly market and fund a game thanks to the success of its Kickstarter campaign.
In addition to the surge in the quality of games (and amount of them) one of the latest innovations in browser gaming has been the mixing of the mobile and browser markets. The new AirConsole has mixed the two worlds in a whole new way that expands the capabilities of both. AirConsole itself is a browser-based gaming platform that provides a variety of available games with a user-interface reminiscent of Steam, but the catch is that you are able to use your smartphone as a controller for your computer. This functions similar to the way that Apple TV and Chromecast will allow people to use their phones as controllers for mobile games on their televisions, except these games are run natively through your browser.
As with most interactive aspects of the internet these days, dynamic compatibility with both browsers and mobile devices is key to success. There's an online platform that features a variety of mobile and arcade games that are designed for browser play but can also be played just as easily on mobile devices. This allows players to continue gaming sessions on the go. Gamers expect to have more freedom with their games and not be relegated to watered-down mobile version of their favorite titles. Casual browser games translating to mobile works exceptionally well, though more robust projects may have trouble adapting to mobile browsers.
But browser gaming is constantly moving forward and pushing the limits of what players can come to expect from free-to-play games. Between titles such as the aforementioned SUPERHOT, a pitch-perfect port of the original DOOM, Spelunky and Robot Unicorn Attack Evolution, the world of browser games is just as wide and varied as any other—and it's only continuing to expand.