Quake Wars Multiplayer: Console vs. PC

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Nestled within our extensive coverage of Splash Damage's forthcoming Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, executive producer Kevin Cloud reveals exactly why the upcoming console editions only support 16 players at a given time, compared to the 24 players of the PC version. He explained that the bandwidth concerns with the peer-to-peer model popular in online console gaming and the prohibitive cost of dedicated servers raised latency issues for anything beyond 16 players.

"Gameplay is still fun in eight versus eight," Cloud assured us, "because of the focused objectives." He also cited the impact of tying assets to individuals and classes instead of making weapons and abilities available to the entire the team as a factor that sets Enemy Territory: Quake Wars apart from other console offerings.

Thus far, Microsoft's Xbox Live has made heavier use of the peer-to-peer model for hosting online matches. This approach has drawn complaints from the gaming community, most recently from players of Epic's Gears of War, who complain that the hosting player has an unfair advantage with certain weapons. That said, Xbox Live does in fact support dedicated servers, as seen in Ubisoft Montreal's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas.

Meanwhile, PlayStation 3 games such as Insomniac's Resistance: Fall of Man employ dedicated servers to deliver a higher player count with less latency issues compared to Xbox Live. Furthermore, some upcoming games--for example, Incognito Entertainment's Warhawk--will allow users to host their own dedicated servers.

On the topic of release dates, Cloud would only reveal that a simultaneous release of the PC and console editions is not planned at this time. The PC iteration is slated to ship "when it's done" sometime this year, with the other versions to follow.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 2, 2007 12:15 PM

    That's why live didn't hold my interest w/ Xbox1. I want dedicated servers on fat pipes. Gimped peer hosted titles running on laggy DSL or cable keep me on the PC.

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      April 2, 2007 12:29 PM

      ...and lots of people have their NAT not working properly, or they've got some shit ISP. And Microsoft wants people to pay for that shit! Wtf?

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      April 2, 2007 12:38 PM

      Completely agree, I was into XBL quite a bit when I first got my 360 until I realized how crappy multiplayer is using peer to peer. I guess the PC has spoiled me and I've pretty much gone back to that for multiplayer gaming. Until MS uses Live subscription money to give the top games dedicated servers, it's pointless to have it. There is no excuse at all for Gears of War not to have dedicated servers given how many copies they've sold.

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      April 2, 2007 1:59 PM

      they should give players the option of running dedicated servers hosted at a datacenter. they could partner with gameservers.com or something and let you pay for the hosting with ms points through Live. not that i would like to pay for such a thing, but you know people would and thus there would be dedicated servers.