What does being a next-gen game or hardware mean, exactly? While the answer is kind of murky—in some ways, the coming generation doesn't feel like a huge departure from our current generation of hardware —one of the places we can see concrete changes is when it comes to multiplayer games.
As amorphous, mercurial and intangible as its atmospheric namesake, the Xbox One's Cloud is a feature that is hard to appreciate without a strong example. Luckily, Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment has one — dedicated servers.
TimeGate Studios' downloadable first-person shooter Section 8: Prejudice becomes the first Xbox 360 game to allow players to rent dedicated PC-hosted game servers. Fully configurable ranked and unranked servers for up to 32 players are now available through GameServers.com.
Stung by PC gamer outrage over the lack of dedicated server support in Modern Warfare 2, Activision has responded with something they'll appreciate about as little: An exclusive deal making GameServers.com the only dedicated server option for Black Ops.
I suppose at some point this will cease to be news, but the franchises that made LAN gaming great continue to turn their back on it, providing a long slow obituary for the service. Command & Conquer is the latest.
Aliens vs. Predator released today, and PC players are stuck with peer-to-peer matchmaking for a little longer while Rebellion gets a dedicated server ready "in the next few days," according to the studio.
During the Modern Warfare 2 no-dedicated servers controversy, DICE was quick to say they would be supported in PC versions of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Well, with one exception: Players would have to rent them, rather than build their own.
You might recall last month that David Brickley, a Rebellion senior producer, was asked directly, three times, to confirm dedicated server support in Alien vs. Predator, and wouldn't say yes or no. The studio's chief now officially confirms its presence.
The displeasure directed by some in the Modern Warfare 2 PC community toward Infinity Ward isn't limited to petitions. This weekend, YouTube removed a video Infinity posted to its channel, after a modder filed a DMCA takedown notice.
id Software's John Carmack is mindful of the anger over Modern Warfare 2 dropping dedicated server support. That's why he's glad Infinity Ward is going first, because he plans to do the same thing with Rage.
As seen on the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 blog, where, I'll guess, the redacted words include "Infinity" and "Ward."
Modern Warfare 2, of course, done stepped in it with the dedicated-server thing. CVG talked with a producer and got less-than-assuring answers that Alien vs. Predator PC will support dedicated boxes, too.
Online petitions ain't worth much to me - just once, I'd like to see someone with a clipboard outside a GameStop doing this in person. But on some topics they're meaningful, like the Infinity Ward/dedicated server fiasco that broke yesterday.
Earlier this morning, the executive producer for the Battlefield franchise tweaked Call of Duty over Infinity Ward ending dedicated server support, "confirming" that, yes, dedicated server support is "a given" in Battlefield titles on the PC.