PS3 News: Developer: Split-Screen Is Dying Because It's "Too Expensive" - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Developer: Split-Screen Is Dying Because It's "Too Expensive"

Boy, talk about a staple of video games in the old days.

When it came to multiplayer several decades ago, split-screen was our only option. And in many ways, some of the veterans out there still see it as the best possible form of multiplayer entertainment, as the person is sitting right there in the room with you; it feels more...connected. You know, despite the constant "connection" we have these days.

So many have wondered why more games don't boast the feature today. While it's true that online gaming has superseded split-screen, many gamers believes the "old-fashioned" option still has a place in the market today. But perhaps surprisingly, according to what Sniper Elite V2 developer Steven Hurst told AddictOfFiction, it's actually "too expensive" to implement. It's a matter of technological capability.

The consoles can't really handle split-screen too well, as it "means either increasing the FPS, which apparently costs a lot and can fu** the console up, or halving the FPS for each screen, which obviously kills gameplay." Hurst says this is a "developer's secret" but maybe it's not a huge shock. We all remember how the games would kinda slow down when playing split-screen, right? Then again, when done properly, it's tough to notice any difference...not sure the GoldenEye fans cared much when playing four-player split-screen. Remember?

Tags: splitscreen, splitscreen games, split-screen multiplayer

4/11/2012 10:54:30 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (31 posts)

MrAnonymity
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:09:43 AM
Reply

Too expensive and just not effective anymore. On current consoles, you have to have a pretty damn big television for an enjoyable split-screen experience. That, and with the PS3 you don't have the ability to load multiple user accounts... so what is the point? I, personally, couldn't care less than to see split-screen die off. It had a good run.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 22 down Disagree with this comment

Lord carlos
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:32:46 AM

Uncharted 3,Resistance 2 & 3 and a few other games i cant recall allow you to load multiple user profiles to play splitscreen online & off so clearly the ps3 can do it and devs and publishers are to blame.

Agree with this comment 20 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 4:51:02 PM

Yep, also Resistance 1 Wipeout HD/Fury, and Killzone 3 both allowed split screen. And GT5. I didn't know that Resistance 2 and Uncharted 3 offered it though.

GG said that 3D tech also helped optimize split-screen play.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ole_Gunner
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:12:31 AM
Reply

So I'm forever left to cling to the memories of splitscreen fun with my brother and sister in TimeSplitters Future Perfect!?! Sad face

Agree with this comment 10 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:20:27 AM
Reply

I love split-screen gaming, while I can appreciate online multiplayer titles if every game were to take that route we'd be stuck in an awful situation. Whenever I have people come around and we decided to play a game or two, I love across the my PS3 games and there is a real limited ammount of titles I have where I can cplay co-operatively with a friend. I have many fighters but I end up just destroying anyone I play against so that's never really an option... :P

Take a current gen transition; Burnout Paradise. I enjoyed the game and it's new open world format. But this is not a game I can play with a friend around as it has no split screen mode due to the online focus. It doesn't even have the Crash party mode where you take in turns to cause as much carange as you can.

While online is fun, it just feels less personal than having a friend beside you. the most fond gaming memories I have are of Crash Team Racing 4-player, it was just such a fun and intense experience. I have not seen anything close to replicating the experience of that game offline or online.

Agree with this comment 12 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Sunni_Boi
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:38:06 AM

CTR Was The Shyt! I Bought It On My PS3

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Quincho
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:02:41 PM

You have a HUGE point there! the most fun I ever had on video games are the split screen ones... Im just sad its going away

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Twistedfloyd
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:25:19 AM
Reply

Split screen is classic and essential to me. I love game with split screen like Twisted, Goldeneye and so many others. Couch gaming with friends (or girlfriend) is some of the most fun that can be had in a game.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Comic Shaman
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:32:49 AM

I love couch gaming too, but I have to say that I am a bit more fond of the structures that don't require split-screen in order to make it work. Like the PS2 Baldur's Gate and Champions of Norrath, for instance.

I know that structure is in no way a good option for every game, but it's very nice when the developer can pull it off.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

oONewcloudOo
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:26:05 AM
Reply

It will be a sad day 10 or so years from now when you boot up an online only co-op game to find it doesn't work anymore.

Last edited by oONewcloudOo on 4/11/2012 11:29:51 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:38:44 AM

This is one of the reasons I'm so aagainst these online passes and similat things!

And it's not like it only happens to12 year old games that have been either been re released or are now free and or open source.

Its happening to games jist a generation old and even to games this generation.

It will be a sad day ehr your ps3 games cant be played together but your sega genesis games work fine.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:31:56 AM
Reply

Split screen is more important to me than online multiplayer
its the reason that pushed me to get cod of mw3.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Xzer0
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:38:16 AM
Reply

How about sony 3d display, where you can play split screen but thanks to 3d glasses you and your friend can both see game in a full screen. I think split screen wont die it will evovle.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:03:29 PM

It's not a bad idea, but is it just specifically for that TV or does that device work on all 3D tv's? Either way, I won't be buying a new TV until my current HDTV conks out so the 3D feature is not for me. How do people feel on split screen, do people actually dislike the screen being split in half or 4-way nowadays?

I'm not opposed to it, but only if teh game can handle it. I remember playing Medal of Honour: Rising Sun on the XBOX 1 - not the best title anyway but the Co-op compromised so, So much, t he framerate was nasty, the graphical detail lost dramatically it just turned into a really shoddy experience in comparison to the fair single player experience.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Quincho
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:04:30 PM

:) you have given me hope!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

slugga_status
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 2:46:20 PM

@Ultimadream

The Simulview is for the Sony TV only. It's pretty cool the one I played with on display. But the price is too much to justify the purchase for a 24" display.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 4:57:42 AM

its a shame $ony has not implemented it into their other TVs its actually really cool tech!
hopefully something for next years range........

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lord carlos
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:52:35 AM
Reply

Splitscreen is what makes a console a console.
The ability to sit down with a mate and play video games splitscreen,along with the 6-8 years of developer support(or in the case of the PS2 12 YEARS of dev support)and untill this generation ease of plug n play ie. no day 1 patches is what defines a console.
Losing splitscreen will be a sad day indeed.
My opinion only.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:07:39 PM
Reply

This is one of those common sense things that is an open secret, so to speak. Rendering two different points of view does double the work for the game engine. Clearly that puts pressure on the CPU and GPU, which will cause them to run hot...though I do doubt this person's comment about what split screen can do to the console...though with the amount of heat related issues we have seen this generation, anything is possible.

But in terms of the computing 'budget' split screen is quite expensive to implement.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:56:20 PM

Yup indeed.

Plus the added tasks of handling several players inputs and individual whims. There's no single "focal point" from a coder perspective, so the code need to juggle a lot more balls at the same time.

Local multiplayer on the same screen though (no split), now that's easier. And personally I think it's much preferred too!

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/11/2012 12:57:11 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SirLoin of Beef
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:27:08 PM
Reply

'Tis a shame split-screen is rare nowadays. Some of my most fun gaming experiences has been playing local 16-man Halo games with friends- 4 Xboxes with 4 guys playing on each one.

Last edited by SirLoin of Beef on 4/11/2012 12:27:43 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

matt99
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 1:10:20 PM
Reply

The lack of split screen is what killed the new hot pursuit for me, I had a blast with it but it just wasn't as good as HP2 for that reason...a shame really.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

slugga_status
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 2:50:26 PM
Reply

As games have evolved I don't really see the need for split-screen. Back in high school it was a must for some PS2 and especially N64 games. Now, with the ability to play co-op via multiplayer makes it easier. With games today I can't stand split-screen action. It takes away the view which is much needed on most co-op games.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

XLV
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 3:00:55 PM
Reply

Goldeneye was the shit for split-screen back in the day on the 64, although some ps3 games handle split really well like black ops zombies, not so much uncharted 3 with an emblem taking up 30% of the screen and mw3 with the map taking up 30% of the screen. I would like to see more titles using the same system as uncharted 3 but with full screen options.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 4:34:14 PM
Reply

I feel I am amongst the minority of people that has always hated split-screen. Don't get me wrong, I played it a lot on the older systems but I don't miss it a bit and hope it doesn't have a resurgence. I am one of those people that I guess could be called selfish in this sense that I want the screen to myself. I would much rather just take turns playing a game with friends as it is a lot more fun to me, and most of my friends as well.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 5:59:43 PM
Reply

RIP split screen i'll always remember fun time with my friends playing Medal of honor rising sun that was the sh$t :)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Miggy
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 8:59:26 PM
Reply

I enjoy split-screen since I play with my brothers a lot. Yeah we noticed that the graphics usually aren't as great as when you play single player but we don't really care as along as it's fun.

In my opinion if developers cut out split-screen for just online multiplayer then the games won't have any replay value 5-8 years from their release. Because that's usually around the time when the company shuts down their servers (that's an educated guess). Then the game is useless. I mean the perfect scenario would be like 7 years from now you and a buddy get nostalgic and want to play an online only game together because you used to play it all the time. But you load it up and you can't because the servers are down.

Split-screen isn't that great to some but at least I still have the opportunity to go back and play those games with a friend or family member and not have to worry about the servers still being up. Which is part of the many reasons I bought Borderlands, Twisted Metal, Uncharted 3, Eternal Sonata, Resistance 1-3, Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet, etc.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 12:35:08 AM
Reply

Did a lot of split screen play work on the Commodore Amiga back in the day. Enjoyed it immensely... who remembers the Gremlin Classic, "Turbo Esprit" series?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 4:56:00 AM
Reply

and this is exactly why rebellions games suck!
everythings too hard or too expensive.
excuses excuses excuses!

i wish more games would employ the split screen tech that the leggo games do.
dunno if they have patented it or not so only they can use it, but if not that is the way to do split screen!
one solid screen till players get far enough away from each other then the screen splits, and joins back when they come back.
i miss the good old days of playing crash CTR racing with 3 friends.
now that was the shizz!!!!!!!!!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Nerull
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 7:42:38 AM
Reply

online has it's place but it is so impersonal that I rarely go near it.
Just when gaming is turning into a mass market do they rationalize shifting it into a more antisocial (as far as gathering at one place) hobby.
And hey I used to play splitscreen on a 13" so quit complaining about screen real estate.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PharaohJR
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 3:12:34 PM
Reply

GT5, Ghost Recon, Warhawk, Gears of War & Halo are some titles i had split screen on this gen. i can only see this option in gaming being more expensive since gaming been a corporate business for some time now & titles have a certain time of producing a product for release.

i hope the internet never gets siezed on a large scale for folks sake smh.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

The PS4 exclusive(s) reveal in December will be...
MEGATON! Biggest thing evah!
Pretty great, but not mind-blowing.
Something decent but that's it.
A waste of hype.

Previous Poll Results