Xbox One to have dedicated servers for multiplayer games
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 22:10
Gamers planning to get an Xbox One might want to get their bandwidth in top shape before Nov. 22. Microsoft’s director of product planning, Albert Penello, confirmed via Twitter that the Xbox One will have dedicated servers for all multiplayer games.
Twitter user @PontifusRex asked, “Can you confirm if the free Xbox compute resources include dedicated servers for all Xbox One games?” To which Penello responded with a simple “Yes.”
Microsoft’s announcement of having dedicated servers is a plus for Microsoft’s public relations after the backlash from consumers when Microsoft originally planned to implement always online DRM. This required users to have a constant internet connection to check their game and make sure it was new, not used, before the game would commence.
There are two types of hosting for online games: Peer-to-peer (P2P) and dedicated hosting.
Peer-to-peer hosting requires one of the users in an online session to be host of the match. This type of connection can be good or bad depending on the host’s internet speed and bandwidth. If a host has a good connection, the quality of the match will be better and vice versa.
Dedicated hosting consists of physical machines that host several online matches at once. The bandwidth is evenly distributed among users on the server. This means there is an even playing field for all players involved. In a sense, dedicated servers pick up the slack for those with subpar internet connections.
Dedicated servers have some advantages over P2P hosting. The biggest advantage is that there is one physical host that’s always online. This means there is no “host migration.” Host migration is where the online session stops because the host’s connection is disrupted and the game automatically selects another user to be the online host. If the particular game doesn’t support host migration, the game stops entirely and everyone is booted from the match.
Another advantage is that latency, or lag, is reduced because the bandwidth is evenly distributed among users on the server. This means that everyone will be on the same page latency-wise in an online session.
Some students at Sam Houston State University said that the Xbox One having dedicated servers was good news.
Freshman marketing major Justin Franklin said that it will even the playing field.
“It helps the competition more,” Franklin said. “People will be less upset because one person has a better connection than everyone else. I like how everyone will be on the same level.”
Freshman animal science major Richard Tuttle III liked the idea, and said that would make Xbox 360 players a lot happier when they migrate to the Xbox One.
“I think it’s pretty legit,” Tuttle said. “There should be a lot less people complaining about connections when it launches. 360 players will be pretty happy when they make the move.”
While having physical servers for all multiplayer games is Microsoft’s intent, the only question left is whether developers will use the servers.
Destructoid.com member Reverend Sin gave caution to those who may not understand what Panello actually meant behind his tweet.
“Don’t misinterpret what he’s saying,” Reverend Sin said. “He’s saying that dedicated servers are available to developers if they choose to use them. We know this from this generation that some publishers (EA included) like to keep their games on their own networks, so whether every game on the platform will actually use the dedicated server option is still a question.”
Panello clarified the statement on neogaf.com.