Above: Eric Kay, engineering manager at Google

Google announced on Thursday that its “native client” technology is ready, and it will allow game developers to get heavy-duty games to run in web browsers.

This video with one of Google’s technical gurus gives a full explanation of the significance of this technology. In essence, native client has turned web games played on the Chrome browser into a high-end gaming platform.

Square Enix and a a bunch of other game companies showed their support for the effort and demonstrated games with 3D graphics running in the Google Chrome browser. Native-client games will be able to take full advantage of multicore microprocessors, whereas most web content today can’t.

Eric Kay (pictured right), engineering manager at Google on the native client project, said that native client games will be able to reach a much wider audience of users who play games in browsers but don’t want to buy game consoles or invest in expensive gamer PC hardware. Chrome has 200 million users now.

Kay said the benefits of running a game natively in the Chrome browser is high performance, security, and the ability to port older games to the system easily. Developers can use a variety of familiar programming tools.

The Unity 3D game engine will now include a check box that a developer can click in order to make a Unity-based game run on the Chrome browser. That’s pretty darn simple. It means developers don’t have to waste a lot of time rewriting games and other apps for the web, only to see them crawl in slow motion. Besides games, photo and video apps will also benefit from the native client technology.

Here’s our video of Eric Kay below.