ENDANGERED SPECIES: Split-screen gaming

I don't know about you, but I've been noticing lately (particularly this generation) that the PS3 and Xbox 360 have been missing out on all the split screen games!  What's the big deal?  Practically every multiplayer game last generation had split screen.  Is it all of the sudden too hard to put it in?  No, developers are just getting lately.  Perfect examples of this are Need for Speed: Undercover, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Burnout Paradise, and many other games (not just racing games, mind you).

I think all the developers nowadays are gettin' too used to people using Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network for their gaming with friends that they just think that everyone has it now.  Well, some people (like me) have friends that don't have online gaming, or any gaming console for that matter.  This just ruins some games for me and makes time with friends a lot less enjoyable.

I really hope split screen gaming won't meet its fate soon.  It's the best peripheral for multiplayer and I would be really sad if it dies.  To whom who disagree and think split screen doesn't matter; it does.  Not everyone has online, or a console for that matter.  Either you're rich or just don't have any friends in real life.

Kinda a chaotic first blog but... yeah, thanks for reading.  Just a reminder; this blog is entirely my opinion regardless if anything was stated as a fact.  Just my opinion, people!  So don't get so P.O.'d if you happen to disagree with anything I said here.

30 Comments
31 Comments
Posted by The_Speedstah

I don't know about you, but I've been noticing lately (particularly this generation) that the PS3 and Xbox 360 have been missing out on all the split screen games!  What's the big deal?  Practically every multiplayer game last generation had split screen.  Is it all of the sudden too hard to put it in?  No, developers are just getting lately.  Perfect examples of this are Need for Speed: Undercover, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Burnout Paradise, and many other games (not just racing games, mind you).

I think all the developers nowadays are gettin' too used to people using Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network for their gaming with friends that they just think that everyone has it now.  Well, some people (like me) have friends that don't have online gaming, or any gaming console for that matter.  This just ruins some games for me and makes time with friends a lot less enjoyable.

I really hope split screen gaming won't meet its fate soon.  It's the best peripheral for multiplayer and I would be really sad if it dies.  To whom who disagree and think split screen doesn't matter; it does.  Not everyone has online, or a console for that matter.  Either you're rich or just don't have any friends in real life.

Kinda a chaotic first blog but... yeah, thanks for reading.  Just a reminder; this blog is entirely my opinion regardless if anything was stated as a fact.  Just my opinion, people!  So don't get so P.O.'d if you happen to disagree with anything I said here.

Edited by BlackWaterCO

Natural Selection: Survival of the fittest

Splitscreen gaming just isn't needed anymore

I can't remember the last time I played a Splitscreen game (Timesplitters 2 maybe)

Not everyone has online, or a console for that matter

In that case, then those without consoles cant even game PERIOD. Also, more than 80% have online, and developers go with where everyone else goes ONLINE

Posted by RawShark

The reason I play splitscreen at all anymore is to play online with another person in the room. I think taking on the world with your buddy is definitely moar awesome than taking on the AI. Halo and Gears both have this option, for which I applaud them, being two of the biggest online shooters.

Posted by nooneknows

I really like split screen gaming. Not all internet is continuously fast and not everyone you play against is going to have a good connection either; sometimes the servers might even lag too. But when you play split screen there is no lag. I see from a graphical stand point the advantage of not including split screen (the game is most beautiful in its full screen glory.... two or three players on the same screen makes things smaller/ less pretty). Well I guess there is always networked games (2 consoles with the same game connected locally) but that's expensive.

Even better than split screen is sharing screen gameplay (Little Big Planet/Smash Bros Brawl) and I don't think that is going away any time soon.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

The reason split screen is dying/dead is because most people have online now. Does that mean that it's worthless? No. For example, I will play RE 5 Co-op with my friend split screen because: A. His Xbox got the RROD and B. The atmosphere of being in the same room tops talking over a headset any day.

Online
Posted by Arkthemaniac

Local multiplayer is becoming more focused on one-screen play, like in fighters and in minigames.

Edited by Bellum

It encourages people to buy consoles. Also, for xbox users without LIVE, it encourages people to buy a subscription.

Posted by Karmum

In games like Gears of War and its sequel, I found split-screen to be just funky. Never was a fan of it, but it is dying out and I don't see it in games as much. People assume everyone is online now.

Posted by Gargantuan

A racing game without split-screen is crap!

Playing online is fun but nothing beats playing split-screen with a friend.

Posted by ParanoidFreak

Split screen just doesn't work with every game that has multiplayer. I find splitscreen bizzare in COD4 (for example) as it is hard to see your opponent when they are the same color as the level.

Posted by Dimsey

I've been bitching and moaning about this for ages.

I have an internet connection, albeit not the most stable one. And I enjoy a good online game.
But an internet connection in most cases doesn't help me play with my brother, the person I game with most - when he's in the same room as me.
Even if we were to play online together, I shouldn't need an internet connection to play with someone in the same room. I shouldn't have to deal with unnecessary lag to play with a guy just two feet away.
We've resigned ourselves to the fact that in order to play a lot of games - throwing Saints Row 2 as an example, we'd need to throw another couple of hundred bucks down for an extra console (not to mention an extra copy of whatever game)  to play System Link and while bitter at first I'm kind of fine with it now. But not every game multiplayer game has System Link, throwing GTA4 out as an example.

I think if you're going to have a multiplayer game there should be at least System Link so there can be some form of local play, but I do miss Splitscreen somewhat and it's good that at least a few games, Gears and Resident Evil 5 for example are keeping it alive.

Posted by End_Boss

After playing on XBL I find it cumbersome to go back to split-screen on the rare occasion that I do. I guess you just don't realize how much it hampers your play (providing that you don't have a kajillion inch TV) when you're competing with a friend for viewing space.

Posted by SmugDarkLoser
Posted by The_Speedstah

Ha, good to see that people are actually noticing my blog or anything I post for once (albeit my videos on YouTube are exceptions).

Unfortunately it does make sense that the companies are assuming everyone has online capabilities with their console.  Even so, they should know that playing with someone that's right next to you on the couch is much better than playing with them and talking to them via a headset or text communication.

And do note that this is a blog from my website, I'll probably post a few more on here that I've posted on there...  But they won't be too common.

Posted by Claude

With tv screens getting bigger, it would seem split screen would benefit. Let's say, two people are playing split screen online in a multi-player game... crazy. I see questions like this on boards all the time... with the games I play. Mario Kart Wii allows split screen online multi-player.

Edited by Zachariahus

Money talks I guess, but I definitely agree with what you have said man. A lot of my friends don't have a console, or the same games for that matter, and inviting them over to play games is becoming increasingly difficult, usually just diverting to XBLA titles or last-gen games. Even if developers think (or even know) they can make mo' money by only including online multi-player, they could still add in split-screen as a god damned common courtesy. Idk, I'm irked about this though, as of late.
 
also, i have horribad sentence structure that i am unwilling to fix.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@BlackWaterCO said:
"
Splitscreen gaming just isn't needed anymore
"
No, there's still a use for it. Let's say you invite your friends over and want to play a game. That's a common enough scenario that it should be in more games.
 
The problem is that developers make more money not putting split screen in games. DAMN YOU, INTERNET!!!
Edited by PureFox

One thing to consider is that with splitscreen the console must render more things at once than with single player.  For example, in Mario Kart wii (yeah, I know the wii isn't the most powerful machine, but the example works xD ) when you have one or two people one the same console you have good frames per second, with three or four, it is substantially lower.  Sometimes developers spend a long time to make the game have a playable frame rate for the single player, and sometimes it could be impossible having a second.  With online, each console or computer only has to render each frame once, making it possible for more games to have a type of multiplayer.  Hope this helps =).
 
edit: but yeah, I do wish more games could have split screen, I'm from a rather large family and local multiplayer was preferred over online.

Posted by Dr_Feelgood38
@PureFox said:
" One thing to consider is that with splitscreen the console must render more things at once than with single player.  For example, in Mario Kart wii (yeah, I know the wii isn't the most powerful machine, but the example works xD ) when you have one or two people one the same console you have good frames per second, with three or four, it is substantially lower.  Sometimes developers spend a long time to make the game have a playable frame rate for the single player, and sometimes it could be impossible having a second.  With online, each console or computer only has to render each frame once, making it possible for more games to have a type of multiplayer.  Hope this helps =).  edit: but yeah, I do wish more games could have split screen, I'm from a rather large family and local multiplayer was preferred over online. "
I was just about to say this.
 
Games are getting all beautified but they're pushing console boundaries in the process. Consoles can't render the games fast enough with split screen and the developers don't want to sacrifice graphics. When you play Gears 2 single player there are hardly any points where the game lags even when there are hundreds of enemies on the screen but you plug in a second player and suddenly there is noticeable lag during most scenes in the game. It is something that should be remedied but I'm not exactly complaining... I have no one to play split screen with :(
Posted by tactis

another thing that really bothers me why is Halo 3 the only game that i can take 3 guests onto xbox live and play multiplayer with other dudes over xbox live?
Posted by ryanwho

I still talk to real people so I'd appreciate keeping split screen as an option, devs.

Posted by Druminator

I agree dude. It bugs the fuck out of me that I have to play either Halo, Gears or L4D when my friends are here. Those are great games and I'm glad they have split screen but there are a ton of other games that my friends and I love but we have to result to taking turns which totally kills the fun. I mean, having local multiplayer has been around since video games have but now it's all about "sorry, everyone has to have a console and online membership before you can play together". It's something you can live with but also something that's going to be greatly missed when it's gone, especially for people who have one console per family. Either way it still bugs me that COD3 can have splitscreen online but COD4 and WAW can't? Grr...

Posted by xplodedd

split screen is not dying, at least not in all games... 
re5 has it, halo3 has, gears2 has, PG4 and Forza have it... 
a lot of games have it, you just don't play it anymore.

Posted by c1337us

Split screen is old hat. Its nice to have the option of course but largely it has become unnecessary and becomgin more so buy the day.

Posted by mordukai

Should I call  the World Wide Fund for Nature?    

Posted by The_A_Drain
@BlackWaterCO said:
"Natural Selection: Survival of the fittest

Splitscreen gaming just isn't needed anymore

I can't remember the last time I played a Splitscreen game (Timesplitters 2 maybe)

Not everyone has online, or a console for that matter

In that case, then those without consoles cant even game PERIOD. Also, more than 80% have online, and developers go with where everyone else goes ONLINE
"

Where did you pull that figure from? Your ass? 
 
There's no way 'more than 80%' of (i'm guessing current generation) console owners have their consoles hooked up to online.  
 
Anyway, there is a reason splitscreen has all but died out with the latest era of games, people demand better and better looking games, and while all the physics, AI, etc only needs to be done once, there is no avoiding the fact that the game scene needs to be rendered twice. It's not as simple as "Half the resolution but twice = the same render time" that's not even close to being true. So graphical features need to be tweaked or turned off entirely to make splitscreen playable. 
 
That and as most people have said, it's effort that most devs don't want to go to because for the majority of people these days it would be a waste of time. I personally cannot play split-screen I get sick for some reason.
Posted by JJOR64

They should focus on local multiplayer as well as online multiplayer for all games IMO.  There are some people who still don't have Xbox Live/PSN and can't play a games online, like CoD 4.  If you could do like a bot match with a buddy in CoD4 offline, that would be nice.

Edited by Tordah

I'd be pretty sad to see the feature completely die out but I wouldn't be surprised.
 
This is just my personal opinion, but a large tv-screen is essential for split-screen to be any enjoyable and most people just don't have that. I have a 32" that I sit pretty damn close to but even then I begin squinting and wishing I had the whole screen for myself.  I wouldn't even consider playing split-screen on an even smaller screen - it simply wouldn't cut it. Not to mention how dark most games are these days. Combine that with the limited/reduced vision and you get a not-so-fun experience.
 
Games where you can play multi-player with a shared screen are awesome though and should never die!

Posted by JeffGoldblum

I love playing online but, there is nothing more fun than playing with all your friends in the same room.
Like when L4D came out me and three friends rented to do some serious zombie killing. We went to splitscreen mode and only 2 people could play on the same console! What the hell! We all call the game Left 2 Dead now.

Posted by Vorbis

I believe Borderlands will have split screen, so someting to look forward to.
 
The big thing about split screen vs online, is that playing online requires 2 copies of the game, where as playing split screen only requires one. Easy to guess which option developers would prefer you use.

Posted by PlayingMantis

I too am disappointed at the dwindling amount of Split-Screen enabled games.  It's why I didn't keep DiRT, and why I didn't buy PURE.  I have always thought it would be great to use LCD shutter glasses to show two people their own screen, instead of stereoscopic 3D.  Technically this would use about the same amount of rendering power as traditional split-screen, if  you ran in interlaced mode. Each player would  see half the lines on the TV.