WTF?! What makes a gaming browser? According to Opera, which invented the term, it has to have customizable CPU and RAM limiters, Twitch integration, a dedicated gaming-related tab, sound FX… Oh, and red neon lighting. Actually the whole package looks and sounds pretty cool.
Usually, when we think of E3 announcements, we think of big gaming companies like Square Enix, Bethesda, EA, and others wowing us with their newest game releases. Sony and Microsoft have often used it to unveil new hardware as well.
This year’s out-of-left-field award goes to Opera Software and its launch of a new browser. Billed as the “world’s first gaming browser,” Opera GX is a customized version of the Opera web browser that has some nifty features.
To start with, Opera GX allows users to set limits on how much RAM and CPU cycles the browser is allowed to use. Depending on the website and how many tabs one has open, browsers can suck up a lot of resources, and Chrome has been notorious for being a hog.
Having set limits will theoretically allow users to run the browser while gaming without getting hit in the performance department too hard. If you have ever tried consulting an online walkthrough or strategy guide while playing, this feature makes total sense. The browser’s control panel also displays the volume of resources being used in real time.
Opera GX has a dedicated tab, called GX Corner, for deals in gaming and currently circulating news stories. It also has Twitch integration. Just log in to Twitch in Opera and the left-hand sidebar will give you quick access to your feeds and will notify you when your favorite streamers go live.
The interface has a dark theme with neon red trim, but Opera says the color is customizable. It gives it a very gamer-like look. GX also has sound effects that were created by Rubén Rincón, and the band Berlinist, who were nominated for BAFTA awards for the soundtrack appearing in the game Gris. Of course, if you don’t like noisy browsing, you can easily toggle off the effects.
Several standard Opera features have carried over to GX as well, including integrated chat services from various platforms, an ad blocker, and a free VPN service. Of course, any extensions available for Opera and Chrome are also compatible with the GX version.
Opera GX is available starting today in early access form. Although, the regular Opera browser is available for Windows, macOS and Linux, Opera GX is only available for Windows. It is unclear if additional versions are in the works.