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Is This the End of Splitscreen Multiplayer, Or the Start of Its Rebirth? 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-little-of-column-A-and-a-little-of-column-B dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new history of splitscreen multiplayer looks at how the phenomenon went from arcade necessity to console selling point, and eventually evolved into today's online multiplayer networks like Xbox Live. The article digs up some surprising anecdotes along the way — like the fact that the seminal Goldeneye N64 deathmatch mode was very much an afterthought, given to a trainee who needed something to do. It's also interesting to think about where it's going in the future, with 4k displays on the horizon and handheld screens making inroads to living room gaming. 'I think you’ll see innovations this year that let people use their TV and mobile device in very interesting ways,' says Wipeout creator Nick Burcombe. 'It doesn't even need to be complex to recapture that social aspect – it just needs to involve more than one person in the same room. ‘Second Screen’ gaming could be multiplayer-based for sure, but it can also be used for new gameplay mechanics in single player too.'"
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Is This the End of Splitscreen Multiplayer, Or the Start of Its Rebirth?

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  • by hubie (108345) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:26PM (#46544233)
    I agree that it is a whole lot more fun, even if you only have two people, to have them in the same room. You get that whole extra level of trash talking, finger gesturing, head slapping, etc. that you can't get over a headset. This is especially true on something like the Wii where you have multiple people either on the same screen (like the Mario games), or in a split screens (like in Wii Sports). Plus, it is just nice to have a multiplayer mode where you don't need to connect to an online server.
    • by neorush (1103917)
      I totally miss the art of staring at a wall while running so that the people you are playing with don't know where you are...I do not mean this sarcastically...there really was an art to it.
      • by tepples (727027)

        I totally miss the art of staring at a wall while running so that the people you are playing with don't know where you are

        Nowadays it's called "ducking behind cover". And no, I never played GoldenEye with "no radar"; our group reasoned that radar substitutes for being able to hear opponents' footsteps.

      • +1 agree
        I did either this, or staring at the ground while I ran quite often. OR if I was sniping at someone (Original Halo) I would keep them off of my screen for as long as possible before I targeted and fired.
    • I truly miss the 4-player split screen fun I had with Warhawk for years on my PS3. I wish a lot more games would do full 2 and 4-way split-screen modes.

  • I can kinda see it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:27PM (#46544245)

    I have really fond memories of playing C&C at my friends house on PS1 via link cable, as well as a variety of other games that we played via split screen (I even remember some being 4 screen using a "multitap").

    Maybe it's just nostalgia talking, but there's definitely something about being in the same room as the people you are playing with/against, and proper lan parties are a pain.

    • Is that C&C with a game controller? If so, how did that work?
      • That game actually supported the PS mouse, but it worked OK with a controller.

        The biggest problem was slowdown, unlike newer C&C console games there was no unit cap so Skirmish games often turned into a slow morass.

        Buggy unit pathfinding on harvesters often led them to get stuck on walls or buildings and that caused massive slowdown... using the nuke cheat to blow them up was a quick fix. :)

  • There are a few problems with split screen:

    On the same device
      * Needs a powerful GPU that can render 2x amount of work across 2 different monitors. 2Kp (aka 4K) is rendering 4x amount of detail !

    Across multiple devices
      * Needs to handle input latency
      * Needs to make the rendering stays relatively in sync across varying framerates

    • Lower detail (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:40PM (#46544383) Homepage Journal

      On the same device
      * Needs a powerful GPU

      How so? Split-screen in a racing game or first-person shooter can use lower-detail meshes and lower-detail textures: four 960x540 pixel windows on a 1080p screen or four 1080p windows on a 4K screen. And because the pixel count remains constant, you can use the same pixel shaders to keep the same fill rate. Besides, not all same-screen multiplayer is split-screen. Fighting games, cooperative platformers, and shmups, for example, put 2 to 4 players' characters in one view.

      • On the PC, Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed [wikipedia.org] is a great example of this. The game runs smooth on modest hardware on single player or local split screen multi-player. It even supports 4k resolutions (though I have not tested this myself yet).

        If the game uses lower detail meshes and textures when it goes split screen, it hasn't been noticeable.

         

      • Re:Lower detail (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bacon Bits (926911) on Friday March 21, 2014 @03:00PM (#46545789)

        GP is right, but for the wrong reasons. It's not because the number of pixels increases. A screen has the same number of pixels whether it's a single scene or multiple.

        The simple answer is because you have two (or more) cameras, and thus, must fully render two separate scenes. That means chewing through your rendering equation [wikipedia.org] twice. Even if the individual scenes are smaller and less detailed, you still have to determine what objects look like from completely different angles, and that means you have to repeat a lot of the work. This is why you see so many games (Halo 4, Minecraft, Serious Sam 3) that have problems with split-screen multiplayer. Even though the resulting scenes have significantly smaller resolutions and significantly reduced detail, you still have to do much of the same work to produce each smaller scene before you start filling the frame buffers.

        • "Rendering equation" as described by the Wikipedia article sounds like what a pixel shader does. But yes, after I posted, I realized that traversing a level's sector graph to produce a potentially visible set [wikipedia.org] doesn't scale based on level of detail. That's also why the developers of GoldenEye had to cut some of its more intricate maps from multiplayer. But I was under the impression that this sort of occlusion culling was more a CPU issue than a GPU issue, as the same amount of geometry gets submitted to the
      • by Talderas (1212466)

        Dynasty Warriors has this as a problem. It's a rendering issue with the number of objects that need to be drawn and tracked. When playing it as a single player you will get far more soldiers around. When playing split screen the number of soldiers rendered would be practically halved. They're also still present albeit unable to hit you but you can't hit them either. So you can chew through individual groups of soldiers far faster playing by yourself compared to split screen.

    • There are a few problems with split screen:

      On the same device
          * Needs a powerful GPU that can render 2x amount of work across 2 different monitors.

      Are you talking about something else when you say "split screen"? To me, that term means one screen, split. Not gameplay split across multiple screens.

  • by DeanCubed (814869) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:29PM (#46544259)

    While pretending like the Wii U doesn't exist. Yes, I'm sure 2014 will be the year where having a second screen off the TV is a gaming essential for the next generation of gamers. Unlike 2012/2013 when everyone hated that idea and thought Nintendo was stupid for trying it.

    • Not to mention that Nintendo did it right, the display on that big controller is simply amazing, it really is a secondary display big enough to game on and not just a small one that's only good enough to display a player's stats.

      • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday March 21, 2014 @01:48PM (#46545049)

        We have the WiiU and love their "tablet" screen. Split screens can often be confusing (being distracted by another player's screen portion and missing something on your screen portion). As a bonus, the tablet screen means that I can play a game (with headphones on or sound off) while my wife watches TV.

        The only thing I'd do to improve the WiiU would be to allow for multiple "tablets". Right now, they only allow for one tablet. All other controllers must be classic Wii controllers (or other supported non-tablet-controllers). It would be great to have two (or more) people playing on tablets, seeing just what they need to see, and either not needing the TV at all or using the TV as some kind of "group view" screen. For example, in a Mario Kart-type game, show each person their own cart's view on their tablets and use the TV for a top-down view of where racers are as well as the current race rankings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc).

        • by idontgno (624372)

          Split screens can often be confusing (being distracted by another player's screen portion and missing something on your screen portion).

          And that's why I will always regard split-screen console gaming as overrated and hopefully to never be resurrected.

          "Hey, dude, where are you going? You're stuck on a wall!"

          "Bullshit, I'm running my ass off. No, wait, I'm looking at the wrong half of the screen."

          So I despise split-screen because I'm terribad at it.

          • I played hours and hours of 4-way Warhawk with friends. Everyone did that at least once, and then memorized which corner of the screen they were in. Its not that hard.

    • There were several Gamecube games that used the Gameboy Advance as multi-player screens. This is old hat.

    • Microsoft has an app called SmartGlass that lets a player use a smartphone or tablet as a second screen and controller for an Xbox family console. But one problem with SmartGlass is that though tablets are ideal for positional control, very few phones and tablets have the discrete buttons needed for solid directional control. The only ones I can think of are Sony's Xperia Play, NV's Shield, Archos GamePad, and various obscure JXD products.
    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Split/shared screen isn't really the same thing as Wii U, though. And the article barely mentions the idea of dual screens.

      Every console supports split screen right now, because Shooters have it. And fighters have shared screen. It isn't anything the Wii U is leading the way at.

      The article was interesting to me, because personally I gravitate towards RPGs and an occasional quirky type game. I'd love to do a shared/split screen game, but they're all shooters & fighters. The only real exceptions I've

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Yes, I'm sure 2014 will be the year where having a second screen off the TV is a gaming essential for the next generation of gamers.

      Baloney.

      Oh, I'm sure it will eventually be sold that way, but if you're already looking at a 60" mega-screen, what possible advantage is an ipad on the coffee table over a picture-in-picture?

      This whole thing sounds suspiciously like a marketer's press release. Somebody's trying to sell something that they weren't able to sell before because nobody wanted it the first time.

      By

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday March 21, 2014 @12:30PM (#46544265)

    Okay, not really. But I was just lamenting last night how because of Xbox live/PSN, people don't get together to game as much.

    In the dreamcast/early xbox days, my friends and I would get together at one of our houses (all young adults without real adult responsibilities yet other than feeding ourselves and paying the rent) and play games all the time. A couple at a time on the couch playing while the others in the group joked, watched, BSed and did other things. My wife participated in the discussion of those games even though she never played, just because of the environment.

    Now, its net games and while 2 of us may talk about it, the 6 or so of our little click no longer has the conversation we once had. People not playing the game are simply not part of the game. And yes, my wife could pull up a console/laptop and 'watch' me play ... but thats pretty lame.

    The fun part of gaming to me was when my friends and I got together, same physical location, and played. It was really just like board games. Something cool would happen, like a cool trick in Tony Hawk, or that really smooth Top Gun like 'put on the brakes and he'll fly right by me' move you pulled off in Descent, and everyone, winner, loser, and non-players would get excited. It was like a mini sporting event.

    Hell, even finding out why you just not beat one of your friends time after time is because he kept looking at your half of the screen was 'fun' as you all laughed about it afterwords. Wall-hacks don't have the same pleasure after the fact when it comes out.

    You don't get any of that with net gaming. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE net games, but split screen, 5-6 of your friends sitting on the couch TOGETHER playing ... THEN eating together or something ... You don't see that anymore and that was just freaking awesome.

    • >Okay, not really. But I was just lamenting last night how because of Xbox live/PSN, people don't get together to game as much.

      With life in general, people don't get together as much, because friends scatter to various states and countries over their lifetimes. Thanks to online gaming, I can get together to game with friends that I haven't seen IRL in years.
      • friends scatter to various states and countries over their lifetimes. Thanks to online gaming, I can get together to game with friends that I haven't seen IRL in years

        Even friend matches are reportedly hard to arrange when the friends move to different time zones. This is why a lot of people rely on pickup matches with strangers. (See CronoCloud's comment [slashdot.org] and Meg Wolitzer's article [nytimes.com].)

        • Note that I said "Play with whomever, whether they're in your friends list or not." Remember that you can "friend" instantly, and if your game time is fairly consistent, the same people will be online. Think of pick up games as an "introduction".

          For example I'm involved in Second Life, and I tend to see certain people...a lot. Because of "when" I play my SL friends list has a mix of people, people from the UK, SAHM's, west coasters, telecommuters. Doesn't really matter who or where they are, we just ten

          • by tepples (727027)
            I've noticed the same phenomenon in IRC: certain people tend to be on at certain times. So I guess friend matches are for people you know from outside the game, and pickup matches are for people you meet on the inside (Lockup flashbacks notwithstanding). Both philosophies are valid, though Nintendo was slow to warm to the latter for child protection reasons.
            • So I guess friend matches are for people you know from outside the game, and pickup matches are for people you meet on the inside

              Not quite, because you can make friends INSIDE the game.

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      But you were 24 then, naturally you would hang out with friends doing silly crap more than when you're 39. You probably go to bars less now, as well. Just the way life works.

      • When you're 39 you're more likely to have fathered or given birth to children who are also gamers. Split-screen means you don't have to stay on the upgrade treadmill for two PCs or two consoles.
    • Agreed. I loved the evenings of multiplayer fun with friends on the old XBox or PS, and we had some good fun playing Goldeneye on a Nintendo at work, locked away in a secret NATO dungeon. Later I got a PS3 and was seriously disappointed with the selection and quality of head-to-head games in split-screen. Most games are single and net play only, and if they have split screen it usually sucks.

      Luckily the guys at my old employer still throw a little LAN party every 2 months or so at the office: games, b
  • by rykin (836525)
    A new game was recently announced on the Xbox that will provide 6-player split-screen running at 60fps. I'm really excited for this because I am hoping it will spark other developers to emulate it. I'd settle for less visuals if the game is fun and can incorporate more players. Sadly, more players per game can mean less copies sold, so I suspect that will hold back any possible adoption.
  • Splitscreen: 4 people want to play, so they buy a copy.
    No Splitscreen: 4 people want to play, so they have to buy 4 copies.

    Guess what's more interesting for the company making the game.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      On the other hand, it's a good way to advertise games to other parties.

      I was first exposed to a lot of the games I bought as a kid by playing them at a friends house. I imagine the inverse was true of my friends. We all kinda had the same game collections, some we discovered on our own, some we were introduced to. I can't think of any games off the top of my head that we played and I liked but I didn't have my own copy of eventually.

      • Oh please, peer propaganda is so 1990s.

        Today, everyone has access to the internet and various "test pages". It's far easier to influence those than your peers. There, you'd have to actually make a good game, with the test drones it's just throwing a bone at them from time to time or threatening them with not being in the fold of the "early access" test goons that makes them crank out good reviews for your turd.

    • Splitscreen: Our household buys one copy.
      No Splitscreen: Our household buys no copies, knowing that the game will be useless at family parties.
      • No Splitscreen: Our household buys no copies, knowing that the game will be useless at family parties.

        What, no one plays single-player or online-play at your house?

        • by tepples (727027)
          Single-player: You get to play for 45, 30, or 22 minutes. That's not even long enough to get to the first save point [tvtropes.org] in Majora's Mask or some JRPGs for PlayStation family platforms. Or you can play a handheld game, an older game on a integrated-graphics PC, or an older game on a previous-generation console.
          Online multiplayer: Same taking turns, and COPPA limits communication in pickup matches to which under-13 players have lawful access.
          Split-screen: You get to play for all 90 minutes.
          • Single-player: You get to play for 45, 30, or 22 minutes.

            Who says?

            Online multiplayer: Same taking turns,

            Who says?

             

            and COPPA limits communication in pickup matches to which under-13 players have lawful access.

            No, it doesn't. Not in practice anyway.

            • by tepples (727027)

              Who says?

              Time between completion of homework and bedtime says. The limits are nowhere near as strict from June through August.

              • Home work? Isn't that what you crib in geography class?

              • homework? You do realize that majority of gamers are adults, right? You focus far too much thought on the after school market.

                • You do realize that majority of gamers are adults, right?

                  True, only 18 percent [theesa.com] of gamers in 2011 were under 18, but I'd guess a not insignificant fraction of the other 72 percent are gaming with their kids. And if the majors continue to tailor their first-person shooters and gangster simulators to the M-rated market, this leaves the E, E10+, and T markets open.

    • I remember toy add from the 1980's.
      The trick to advertising the toy was to show the child playing with the toy with either his friends or with his family.

      Gi-Jo even with the Aircraft carrier (which every kid wanted) isn't that fun alone, you want it, because then you can get the other kids to play with you, and if it is your toy you can play the game with your own rules.
      The real key is if all your friends had a different toy of the same product line, and then they can have a real adventure with them.
      Now thi

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      It should be the first one since the second one often leads to no sales at all.
  • The PS4 and Xbone are both jokes. they dont even support 1920X1080-60 resolutions, with 4K this year being as affordable to the poor people ($120K a year or lower) it was completely boneheaded that the Xbone came with hardware that was already 2 years out of date before it even hit release day.

    The best thing was when you and friends could all play local lan, but game developers are too damned lazy to add that in anymore. split screen gaming will suck even at 8K resolution because you are still squishing

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It requires real hardware.

      We had splitscreen before the 360 and PS3, let alone the Xbone and PS4.

    • with 4K this year being as affordable to the poor people ($120K a year or lower)

      Can you tell me which fairy land you live in because in Canada, under 20$K is poor.

      • by Yosho (135835)

        Can you tell me which fairy land you live in because in Canada, under 20$K is poor.

        I'm going to guess he's in New York City, because you need to make $80k there just to be able to afford an apartment and food, and for some reason people in NYC assume that the cost of living is that inflated everywhere else, too. Could also be Los Angeles, though. Or he could be a troll.

    • by RogueyWon (735973)

      You've summarised the hardware purist argument pretty well. However, Sony and MS both had good reasons for pitching their technology at the level they did.

      First, they'd waited more than long enough already to replace their old hardware. The 360/PS3 generation was the longest console generation on record and almost certainly ran longer than was good for either Sony or MS's business. It gave PC gaming (remember when that was dying) a shot in the arm to the point where it started eating the consoles' lunch and

      • The 360/PS3 generation was the longest console generation on record

        Was it longer than the second generation, which started with the Atari 2600 and ended with the NES?

        • Was it longer than the second generation, which started with the Atari 2600 and ended with the NES?

          Yep.

          From the Atari 2600 to the NES was six years (1977 to 1983). From the Xbox 360 to the Wii U was seven years (2005 to 2012).

          • Then I guess it depends on which regional market we're talking about. The NES wasn't out in Slashdot's home country until 1985. In 1983 it was still the Family Computer, and Nintendo was searching for a distributor to bring it stateside during the great gaming recession of 1983-1984. In the States, the second gen lasted from 1977 to 1985, and the seventh from 2005 to 2012. It also depends on whether you group the TurboGrafx-16 with the NES or with the Super NES.
            • It also depends on whether you group the TurboGrafx-16 with the NES or with the Super NES.

              Not really. The TurboGrafx-16 was indeed the first of the fourth generation, but from the TurboGrafx-16 to the Atari Jaguar was still only six years (1987 to 1993).

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        The thing is that it is already starting to bit them in the butt. a LOT of 4K Tv owners are already bitching on forums how their gaming system, or worse the Xbox "media center/gaming system" is useless to them on their shiny new tv (that they cant watch anything at all on as there is no 4K content)

        But the complaints and bad press start with the videophiles, and will infect the affluent people that buy game systems. it will actually cause PC gaming to get a better foothold, because you can build a gaming P

  • Are the inevitable people bitching about another player watching their screen.

    Guess what? We can all see each other's screens. No one has an advantage here. Learn to use the information at your disposal, and learn to minimize what the other players can get from you.

    Beyond that, today we have both the screen size and the resolution to allow each player to have more size and pixels than they'd have had with an entire screen to themselves just a few generations back. As long as your friends aren't the afor

    • Screen peeking was solved years ago by introducing cooperative multiplayer, as opposed to having every FPS be a deathmatch.
      • Coop is boring.
        • Coop is boring.

          Get a fox to guard it.

          • Guard the flag... from the other team. 2fort5, coop against other people.

            The problem with coop games is you need strategy and organization or it's just boring. One person can assess all the stuff going on around him and learn to react efficiently; but if you need 4 people, you need it to be easy enough for 4 people to just blast their way through. If they're all together, they need to communicate--which is really fucking slow--and if they're separate and doing all the challenging things, they can come t

    • With an 120hz display and glasses, each player can have their own full-screen, rather than split screen. I haven't used this tech myself, but it seems like the way to go for in-person 2-player gaming.
      • by Kaenneth (82978)

        I started the patent application process for using modified 3d glasses to split a screen between multiple player back in 1996, basic prior art search came up empty, but I didn't have the money to follow though with it, and what with the Pokémon flickering light seizures and the fact that console add-ons rarely sell well, I gave up on it. But I do have the paperwork describing it, and communications between me & patent attorney if proof of prior art is needed.

      • For the PS3, Sony calls it Simulview.

      • One of the reasons I like split view is because more than just the players can be in on it. You can have a party with almost a dozen people watching the match (sometimes switching off on death) and everyone can cheer, praise, etc the players they are watching. With each player using 3d glasses to watch their own game, everyone else in the room can either watch 1 player (if they have glasses) or gets to see a nauseating blur the whole time.

        I miss split-screen, it seems like almost every company is dropping i

  • I've spent the past several years working on an article summarizing the arguments for and against split-screen [pineight.com] that I've seen on Slashdot and elsewhere. The big problem I can see is that startup studios have a hard time getting onto a platform that allows single-screen multiplayer: desktop PCs by and large aren't in the living room (with a few exceptions that Hairyfeet will probably explain), Steam Machines aren't out yet, OUYA flopped, and the major consoles require developers to have the sort of experience that one can only gain by moving to a place like Austin, Boston, or Seattle.
    • Why focus so much attention on split screen multiplayer? I mean why? There have always been single player games. I know you were once a babysitter who babysat kids with an older console connected to an SDTV but you aren't doing that anymore. That is in the past.

      So rather than saying:

      "Waaah Nintendo/Sony won't give me a devkit to do a local multiplayer tetris clone" you should be thinking. "I should do a flash/java/pygame prototypes of various games and genres for a portfolio and apply for a job at an

      • by tepples (727027)

        Why focus so much attention on split screen multiplayer? I mean why?

        Right now? Because it's the subject of this Slashdot article.

        tetris clone

        I moved on years ago from that...

        pygame prototypes

        ...to that [pineight.com].

  • Doomers and Quakeworlders thought your GoldenEye and Halo were cute. I guess they still are. It always seemed to me like an excuse to not learn how to network computers, coz all that tech stuff is SO hard and for nerds. I'm confused why this is a news article. Hexen, anyone? Off my lawn. Where did I put my teeth?
  • If stuff like the Occulus or Sony's new headset catch on, it may supplant single-split-screen multiplayer with single-console-multi-screen gaming for a lot of purposes.

    I wonder how many headsets your average PC/console could drive.

  • They should make split screen games that take advantage of 3D screens; each person wears only one type of lens allowing them to see just their screen.

    • Already been done, Sony calls it Simulview

      • by Garisimo (689294)

        Cool!

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        I'm still amazed that no TV manufacturers have offerd this capability to allow multiple people to watch different shows at the same time. Sure, they would have to offer a way to use seperate headsets, but that is a trivial addition.
        • Probably because that in the US, multiple TV households are common.

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            Sure, but most US households don't have multiple TVs in the same room. And, keep in mind that 90% of the hardware is already their to offer this functionality.
        • I'm still amazed that no TV manufacturers have offerd this capability to allow multiple people to watch different shows at the same time.

          Unless by this you mean one HDMI program and one ATSC program at once, the subscriber would need to connect multiple cable or satellite boxes to the TV. Viewers would need to wear Bluetooth headphones in addition to the 3D glasses. Another TV is probably more practical.

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            Or, Staellite + Hulu, or Hulu + Netflix, or Netflix + local media, or etc, etc, etc. Cord cutting is going mainstream. People don't just assume that they must watch from cable/satellite and that is it. Yes, there would need to be Bluetooth headphones. This is not a major hurdle. Sure another TV is an option, but a large portion of the TV watching public has space constraints. Whether that is watching TV in bed at night where a second TV is totally impractical, or not wanting to watch your show on the
  • I've always been a fan of his: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] pretty much split screen as full screen through a passive 3D tv when you switch up the lenses in the glasses.
  • http://us.playstation.com/ps3/... [playstation.com]

    Sony SimulView allows you to view two different HDMI sources on one 3D display. PS3 (and eventually the PS4) has a few games that support SimulView... It splits the 3D source so one angle is one player and the other angle is the other player, both 1080P. There are some fantastic options out there.

  • Apologies for the shameless self promotion, but I've been working on a new type of display that offers a truly social gaming experience. It's called The Voxiebox [voxiebox.com]. It's a 3D 'Holographic' Display that you and your friends can gather around to play games and have fun. We're still a way off the consumer market but we are working towards it. Our initial focus for gaming will be on the arcade sector.

    If you're interested in developing games for The Voxiebox you can sign up for our early access Developer K [google.com]

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