The console war has shifted its focus onto the world of online gaming this week, with both Microsoft and Sony revealing details of how their new systems will be better connected than their predecessors.
Microsoft struck the first blow at its Gamescom 2013 press briefing, when Activision revealed that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be played on dedicated servers on Xbox One.
However, Sony hit back at the same event later in the day, when the company announced at its own Gamescom 2013 press conference that it has begun broadband partnerships with Virgin Media, One, Orange and T-Mobile for the PlayStation 4 (PS4).
Here is a look at both announcements in depth, and how they will both affect the online community for gamers in the months to come:
Wishes Of Gamers Answered With Dedicated Servers
Microsoft has faced an uphill challenge to convince gamers that they should invest in the Xbox One, ever since they stumbled out of the blocks when lifting the lid on the console back in May.
Since June, the American giant has reversed its decision that the console had to be connected to the internet at least once every 24 hours, to simplify the system’s pre-owned games policy, to suddenly bundle the console with a headset and even revealed that Kinect does not need to be turned on for the gadget to work.
Gamers were given another reason to find the Xbox One appealing this week though, when Activision announced that Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One has dedicated servers.
A dedicated server is a strategy linked to internet hosting, whereby a client will lease an entire server so that it is only used for one specific purpose. People have called on this tactic to be introduced to the multiplayer aspect of the Call of Duty series for years.
Speaking at Microsoft’s Gamescom 2013 press briefing, Mark Rubin, from Ghosts developer Infinity Ward, confirmed that the game “will use Xbox Live Cloud hosting to provide dedicated servers for multiplayer matches, ensuring the best multiplayer experience will be on Xbox One”.
PS4 – The Best Online Gaming Experience?
While Microsoft’s dedicated server announcement will be welcomed by gamers, it has to be remembered that this strategy is only linked to one specific game.
Sony is attempting to enhance the entire online community of the PS4 though, by revealing its plans to partner with a number of well-known internet service providers across Europe.
Sony Computer Entertainment UK confirmed that Virgin Media will become its official broadband provider partner for the new console, while similar deals have been struck involving Ono, T-Mobile and Orange in other territories across the continent.
What makes each announcement appealing is that homes who set up a broadband connection are guaranteed to access networks which are reserved only for gaming purposes.
Jim Ryan, the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, explained at Sony’s Gamescom 2013 press conference: “In order to give gamers the best online gaming experience PlayStation is entering into strategic partnerships with some of Europe’s leading ISPs.
Our plan is to offer a range of broadband packages to PS4 gamers that included reserved parts of the pipe for gaming, broadband speeds of up to 200mb/s and attractive PS4 and PlayStation Plus offerings.
Although it is only early days in the next stage of the console war, the announcements about dedicated servers and broadband partnerships by Microsoft and Sony, respectively, means that there looks to be one main winner when all is said and done – online gamers.