Thanks to GameSpot for its 'GameSpotting' editorial discussing the problems of online console gaming without dedicated servers. The author points out: "Let's consider the top upcoming shooters on both the PS2 and the Xbox: Killzone and Halo 2... the cold, hard fact is that these games will only offer a maximum of 12- and 16-player online multiplayer, respectively. In other words, if you can find a good nearby server, you'll be playing a game that isn't fundamentally different than what we've been playing for about eight years on the PC in Quake 1." He continues by contrasting this to the PC experience: "EA has promised that the upcoming Battlefield 2, currently scheduled to ship in the first part of 2005, will have more than 100 simultaneous players", before suggesting: "The bottom line is that console games need dedicated servers. As it stands today, only individual Xboxes are serving matches while simultaneously allowing the host to play. You simply cannot run a 24- or 32-player game with just a 733MHz processor and 64MB of system RAM available, hooked up to a potentially flaky cable or DSL line."
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