Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Displays Games

Is This the End of Splitscreen Multiplayer, Or the Start of Its Rebirth? 126 126

An anonymous reader writes "A new history of splitscreen multiplayer looks at how the phenomenon went from arcade necessity to console selling point, and eventually evolved into today's online multiplayer networks like Xbox Live. The article digs up some surprising anecdotes along the way — like the fact that the seminal Goldeneye N64 deathmatch mode was very much an afterthought, given to a trainee who needed something to do. It's also interesting to think about where it's going in the future, with 4k displays on the horizon and handheld screens making inroads to living room gaming. 'I think you’ll see innovations this year that let people use their TV and mobile device in very interesting ways,' says Wipeout creator Nick Burcombe. 'It doesn't even need to be complex to recapture that social aspect – it just needs to involve more than one person in the same room. ‘Second Screen’ gaming could be multiplayer-based for sure, but it can also be used for new gameplay mechanics in single player too.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is This the End of Splitscreen Multiplayer, Or the Start of Its Rebirth?

Comments Filter:
  • by hubie (108345) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:26PM (#46544233)
    I agree that it is a whole lot more fun, even if you only have two people, to have them in the same room. You get that whole extra level of trash talking, finger gesturing, head slapping, etc. that you can't get over a headset. This is especially true on something like the Wii where you have multiple people either on the same screen (like the Mario games), or in a split screens (like in Wii Sports). Plus, it is just nice to have a multiplayer mode where you don't need to connect to an online server.
  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:28PM (#46544253)

    There are a few problems with split screen:

    On the same device
      * Needs a powerful GPU that can render 2x amount of work across 2 different monitors. 2Kp (aka 4K) is rendering 4x amount of detail !

    Across multiple devices
      * Needs to handle input latency
      * Needs to make the rendering stays relatively in sync across varying framerates

  • Lower detail (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <> on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:40PM (#46544383) Homepage Journal

    On the same device
    * Needs a powerful GPU

    How so? Split-screen in a racing game or first-person shooter can use lower-detail meshes and lower-detail textures: four 960x540 pixel windows on a 1080p screen or four 1080p windows on a 4K screen. And because the pixel count remains constant, you can use the same pixel shaders to keep the same fill rate. Besides, not all same-screen multiplayer is split-screen. Fighting games, cooperative platformers, and shmups, for example, put 2 to 4 players' characters in one view.

Earth is a beta site.