Square Enix is gearing up to release Mini Ninjas, its first game for Google's Chrome browser. The publisher behind the Final Fantasy series has been collaborating closely with Google, working out how best to utilize the browser's Native Client feature. This toolkit was recently added to Chrome, giving it the ability to run native code like C++, rather than the HTML/JavaScript combination that's governed web apps in recent years.

Speaking at Google's Mountain View head offices, Square Enix chairman Yoichi Wada said that running games within a browser offers a chance to reach "new consumers, devices, and platforms," since Chrome is available across the range of operating systems. He added, "Native Client enables the same consumer experience in the browser as in a native application," — something that game developers relying on Flash could only dream of.

The game was first released for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii back in 2009, and was generally well received. It's an RPG that follows the journey of Hiro ("the world's smallest hero") as he attempts to save the world. Square Enix promises "high-definition, console-quality gaming" without the need to download or install anything first — something that's been proven possible by other Native Client-based titles such as Bastion, which was ported from Xbox Live Arcade a few days ago.

Wider support for the technology looks likely too, with the Unity Engine (behind games like Shadowgun and Earth Under Siege) building in support for the Native Client — check a box and your game is built for the browser. The open beta of Mini Ninjas begins in the next few weeks, following the release of the Chrome version 17 beta.