Why exactly is the console cap lower?

#1 Edited by Donos (1194 posts) -

Console games generally have lower player caps than PC versions of the same game, notably the battlefield games, and I'm wondering why that is? Is it an issue of processing power, or is there some specific networking development in the last few years that isn't present on current consoles?
 
The most common explanation I've heard is processing power, but shouldn't that become less of an issue as efficiency improves? Console graphics are much better now than at launch, but player caps are the same.. 
 
Also, why does MAG work? It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Donos said:
"

Console games generally have lower player caps than PC versions of the same game, notably the battlefield games, and I'm wondering why that is? Is it an issue of processing power, or is there some specific networking development in the last few years that isn't present on current consoles?
 
The most common explanation I've heard is processing power, but shouldn't that become less of an issue as efficiency improves? Console graphics are much better now than at launch, but player caps are the same.. 
 
Also, why does MAG work?

"
Mag works because the game looks sort of crappy for graphics. Plus all the players are not in one area....its two large areas with two septate groups of people. You can join the other group but its often hard to do and you spawn back near your own unit. 
#3 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

Network limitations. MAG doesn't have nearly as much information needing to be transmitted to every player as BF3 will have. Detailed destruction, multiple vehicles and infantry.

#4 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

PS3 can't handle the graphics, I don't know if you saw what BF3 looks like...but it looks better than Killzone 3.

#5 Edited by Donos (1194 posts) -

So... if it's networking issues, then why is MAG able to run all 256 players simultaneously without significant lag? You're not seeing them on the screen, but that is irrelevant to the network.  It's worth noting that MAG does have some basic destruction and a fairly large number of vehicles running around at any given time. They're simple, but there's a lot of them.
 
if it's processing power, then why hasn't there been any increase in player caps since launch?
#6 Posted by MattyFTM (14366 posts) -

I'm assuming that the console version will do multiplayer via matchmaking, whereas the PC version will have dedicated server's. That will be why.

Moderator
#7 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -
@MattyFTM: MAG does multiplayer via matchmaking regardless. If the line is between dedicated servers vs P2P, that shouldn't be ain issue since Battlefield has always been dedicated servers on consoles.
#8 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @MattyFTM: MAG does multiplayer via matchmaking regardless. If the line is between dedicated servers vs P2P, that shouldn't be ain issue since Battlefield has always been dedicated servers on consoles. "
Again its mostly because of graphics and the split of all the players. 
#9 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @MattyFTM: MAG does multiplayer via matchmaking regardless. If the line is between dedicated servers vs P2P, that shouldn't be ain issue since Battlefield has always been dedicated servers on consoles. "
I don't even think MAG has that many people per area. It might be instanced with 64 a piece, or something, and the reason they can get away with that is the graphics aren't too good. I'm not sure, never played it, but...
#10 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:

" I'm assuming that the console version will do multiplayer via matchmaking, whereas the PC version will have dedicated server's. That will be why. "

All BF games on consoles are dedictated servers only. BF wouldn't run on P2P matchmaking. Waaay too much traffic for your average connection to handle host duties. Networking destruciton and vehicles is quite the effort.
#11 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -
@Laketown:
@The_Laughing_Man:

Again, MAG doesn't split players up as far as networking goes. You can run up to every one of those 256 players and shoot them. You can also watch them all in real time on the map.  Now I do agree that MAG has shitty graphics in response to the player cap (though I think some of that is just native to Zipper games), but then again why hasn't there been an increase in player caps since launch? 
 
Also, is everyone else sitting around bored at work like me? These response times seems awful fast.
#12 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -
@Donos said:
"

Console games generally have lower player caps than PC versions of the same game, notably the battlefield games, and I'm wondering why that is? Is it an issue of processing power, or is there some specific networking development in the last few years that isn't present on current consoles?
 
The most common explanation I've heard is processing power, but shouldn't that become less of an issue as efficiency improves? Console graphics are much better now than at launch, but player caps are the same.. 
 
Also, why does MAG work? It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

"
Simple answer is simple. Technical limitations. Without sacrificing visiual quality and complexity and interactivity and simulation and so forth, they couldn't increase the playercount. If they'd drop destruction and decreased simulation and reduced weapon/modell variety and overall graphical quality (poly-count and texture rez), as well as reduced quality of particle effects and sound. Yeah - they could do more than 24 players. You'll have a shit looking and outdated feeling game that plays badly. Just with more players.
 
Both consoles are more or less memory capped. Any CPU usage spikes crash my PS3 playin' BF:BC 2. Most collisions between vehicles do just that. BF:BC 2 pushes the consoles to their max. I dunno how much Frostbite 2 will improve performance for consoles - it's doubtful if it does at all. It's focused around DX11 solutions like tesselation to get the results displayed in the trailer. Wait and see.
#13 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @Laketown: @The_Laughing_Man: Again, MAG doesn't split players up as far as networking goes. You can run up to every one of those 256 players and shoot them. You can also watch them all in real time on the map.  Now I do agree that MAG has shitty graphics in response to the player cap (though I think some of that is just native to Zipper games), but then again why hasn't there been an increase in player caps since launch?  Also, is everyone else sitting around bored at work like me? These response times seems awful fast. "
However since they are separated it eases the strain. I played the game for a long long time and know all this. And again the game looked crappy at times the gave up good graphics for that ability to have that many people. 
#14 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -
@Donos: 
 
MAG is low fidelity. Battlefield is high fidelity.
 
MAG's playercap with high fidelity presentation and interactivity and simulation is impossible to achieve on current generation consoles.
#15 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

I beleive xbl/psn have bandwidth limitations for games.  Mag might have gotten special treatment from Sony.

#16 Posted by pubbles (142 posts) -
@Donos said:
"

Also, why does MAG work? It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

"
It makes me sad that you never experienced Starsiege: Tribes then :(
#17 Edited by ShaneDev (1696 posts) -

Both console makers have limits on the amount of bandwidth that can be used for games to ensure that it stay stable and playable for the majority of users as well as running what ever other PSN or Xbox live service in the background, on the PC this is not an issue. Destructible environments would have a bigger impact on the amount of bandwidth to be used since that all has to be tracked and sent to all other players, graphics have no impact and I am sure the games could probably handle twice the player models they would have no effect on performance but the lag would increase significantly thats why the limit is at 64 even on PC. Now Zipper is a first party Sony studio and probably got some way around the network limit or they have a better technique I dont know. The bandwidth limit was always the reason DICE gave for not having 64 players on console.  

#18 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -
@coopersy said:
" @Donos said:
"

Also, why does MAG work? It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

"
It makes me sad that you never experienced Starsiege: Tribes then :( "


I remember playing it for a few minutes at a friends house when I was 8 or 9. It looked lame so we went to play some Smash Bros. =?
#19 Posted by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -
@Donos said:

" @Laketown: @The_Laughing_Man: Again, MAG doesn't split players up as far as networking goes. You can run up to every one of those 256 players and shoot them. You can also watch them all in real time on the map.  Now I do agree that MAG has shitty graphics in response to the player cap (though I think some of that is just native to Zipper games), but then again why hasn't there been an increase in player caps since launch?  Also, is everyone else sitting around bored at work like me? These response times seems awful fast. "

 MAG has such a high player cap because Sony worked extremely closely with the developers and also published the game. They probably had hardware engineers help the developers find every possible solution to squeeze each and everyone of those players into a match. Whether that's about lowering certain things in graphics or boosting other things in network code, that's a thing only they know. I doubt a developer that make games multiplatform would have the time and money to dedicate teams to find solutions on all platforms for such a scope.
#20 Edited by floodiastus (1262 posts) -
@Donos said:

" So... if it's networking issues, then why is MAG able to run all 256 players simultaneously without significant lag? You're not seeing them on the screen, but that is irrelevant to the network.  It's worth noting that MAG does have some basic destruction and a fairly large number of vehicles running around at any given time. They're simple, but there's a lot of them. if it's processing power, then why hasn't there been any increase in player caps since launch? "

Battlefield Bad Company has Bullet trajectories, something most other games dont use (if any?) that takes alot of data being sent, add to that the destructable environments that are far more detailed than those in MAG. You are kind of saying it all yourself though, everything in MAG is simpler that is why it works. 
 
Don't understand your point about processing power, you saying consoles get more and more processing power with time?
#21 Posted by pubbles (142 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @coopersy said:
" @Donos said:
"

Also, why does MAG work? It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

"
It makes me sad that you never experienced Starsiege: Tribes then :( "
I remember playing it for a few minutes at a friends house when I was 8 or 9. It looked lame so we went to play some Smash Bros. =? "
You missed out. Hard.
#22 Posted by Ocean_H (290 posts) -

Resistance 2 does 60 multiplayer.

#23 Edited by Mikemcn (6968 posts) -

Because Consoles do Peer to peer and PC's do servers. 

#24 Posted by kishan6 (1914 posts) -
@Donos said:
"

 It's running more players on larger maps than any console or PC shooter I'm aware of.

"
Planetside yo
#25 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -
@floodiastus said:
"@Donos said:

" So... if it's networking issues, then why is MAG able to run all 256 players simultaneously without significant lag? You're not seeing them on the screen, but that is irrelevant to the network.  It's worth noting that MAG does have some basic destruction and a fairly large number of vehicles running around at any given time. They're simple, but there's a lot of them. if it's processing power, then why hasn't there been any increase in player caps since launch? "

Battlefield Bad Company has Bullet trajectories, something most other games dont use (if any?) that takes alot of data being sent, add to that the destructable environments that are far more detailed than those in MAG. You are kind of saying it all yourself though, everything in MAG is simpler that is why it works.  Don't understand your point about processing power, you saying consoles get more and more processing power with time? "

Effectively, yes. As developers become more familiar with the hardware, they eek out more an more performance. This has happened with every console generation I've seen, and is most clear with this one looking at launch games versus those out now.It's why I find console development much more impressive than PC, because people are doing so much more without the crutch of throwing extra resources at the problem.
#26 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@mosdl said:
" I beleive xbl/psn have bandwidth limitations for games.  Mag might have gotten special treatment from Sony. "
@ShaneDev said:
" Both console makers have limits on the amount of bandwidth that can be used for games to ensure that it stay stable and playable for the majority of users as well as running what ever other PSN or Xbox live service in the background, on the PC this is not an issue. Destructible environments would have a bigger impact on the amount of bandwidth to be used since that all has to be tracked and sent to all other players, graphics have no impact and I am sure the games could probably handle twice the player models they would have no effect on performance but the lag would increase significantly thats why the limit is at 64 even on PC. Now Zipper is a first party Sony studio and probably got some way around the network limit or they have a better technique I dont know. The bandwidth limit was always the reason DICE gave for not having 64 players on console.   "
 
Actually i remember reading an article or watching a video where the Sony CEO was like "when DICE approached us concerning how well Battlefield 3 will run on the PS3 etc... and they asked us to lower the bandwidth limits, how could we say no?" 
 
something along those lines, meaning that SONY made an exception for BF3 because its so revolutionary 
#27 Posted by Meowshi (2911 posts) -

Seems like something that a community of non-game developers isn't really equipped to answer.  

#28 Edited by James0890 (69 posts) -
@Donos:  
Highly optimized PC games are impressive too, look at WoW it can run on pretty much anything. PC development is more about making sure that your game runs on the widest variety of hardware as possible, which is much more technically impressive than just learning a particular set of hardware. 
#29 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @floodiastus said:
"@Donos said:

" So... if it's networking issues, then why is MAG able to run all 256 players simultaneously without significant lag? You're not seeing them on the screen, but that is irrelevant to the network.  It's worth noting that MAG does have some basic destruction and a fairly large number of vehicles running around at any given time. They're simple, but there's a lot of them. if it's processing power, then why hasn't there been any increase in player caps since launch? "

Battlefield Bad Company has Bullet trajectories, something most other games dont use (if any?) that takes alot of data being sent, add to that the destructable environments that are far more detailed than those in MAG. You are kind of saying it all yourself though, everything in MAG is simpler that is why it works.  Don't understand your point about processing power, you saying consoles get more and more processing power with time? "
Effectively, yes. As developers become more familiar with the hardware, they eek out more an more performance. This has happened with every console generation I've seen, and is most clear with this one looking at launch games versus those out now.It's why I find console development much more impressive than PC, because people are doing so much more without the crutch of throwing extra resources at the problem. "
And now we've come to the point every console generation comes to, wheres PC's are just so much more powerful than consoles. It's sad there's so few developers daring to use the PC like DICE. If developers dared and the PC market wasn't so fucked up, we would have had more games looking as promising as BF3. 
#30 Posted by Tennmuerti (8059 posts) -
@Meowshi said:
" Seems like something that a community of non-game developers isn't really equipped to answer.   "
I would have to agree with this.
#31 Edited by Enigma777 (6070 posts) -

Meh, who cares. I generally find anything above 32 players to be too chaotic anyways. 

#32 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:
" Meh, who cares. I generally find anything above 32 players to be too chaotic anyways.  "
if every console player had that mentality we wouldnt have the shitstorm at the EA forums of consolers complaining about the player limits 
 
CONVERT THEM, ENIGMA !!
#33 Posted by Enigma777 (6070 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
" @Enigma777 said:
" Meh, who cares. I generally find anything above 32 players to be too chaotic anyways.  "
if every console player had that mentality we wouldnt have the shitstorm at the EA forums of consolers complaining about the player limits  CONVERT THEM, ENIGMA !! "
Oh, no. No. No No. I'm not going back anywhere near the EA forums. Last time I was there when Bad Company 2 launched, I was exposed to enough gay porn for 2 lifetimes... Never again!
#34 Posted by Korwin (2839 posts) -

Just FYI, MAG uses a dedicated server infrastructure on the back end.

#35 Edited by Donos (1194 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:

" @Ahmad_Metallic said:

" @Enigma777 said:
" Meh, who cares. I generally find anything above 32 players to be too chaotic anyways.  "
if every console player had that mentality we wouldnt have the shitstorm at the EA forums of consolers complaining about the player limits  CONVERT THEM, ENIGMA !! "
Oh, no. No. No No. I'm not going back anywhere near the EA forums. Last time I was there when Bad Company 2 launched, I was exposed to enough gay porn for 2 lifetimes... Never again! "
As a general rule, don't ever go to official forums for any game ever. You will gain nothing but sadness.
 
Anyways, I can actually understand demands to raise the console cap for this game in particular. Going from 32 to 24 with Bad Company sems reasonable, and I never felt the difference playing either version. 64 to 24 sounds game-breaking, unless the maps and modes are redesigned for each platform.
#36 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Donos said:
" @Enigma777 said:

" @Ahmad_Metallic said:

" @Enigma777 said:
" Meh, who cares. I generally find anything above 32 players to be too chaotic anyways.  "
if every console player had that mentality we wouldnt have the shitstorm at the EA forums of consolers complaining about the player limits  CONVERT THEM, ENIGMA !! "
Oh, no. No. No No. I'm not going back anywhere near the EA forums. Last time I was there when Bad Company 2 launched, I was exposed to enough gay porn for 2 lifetimes... Never again! "
As a general rule, don't ever go to official forums for any game ever. You will gain nothing but sadness.  "
i beg to differ

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