Now that Microsoft has established a set of policies that are identical to Playstation 4's DRM and Used game policy, we can now begin to compare and highlight features that stand out for each console. It is hard to argue with the fact that Xbox Live has been a very popular service for millions of gamers throughout the years. The service that moved a connected community forward is getting a lot better with the next gen Xbox One. Let me introduce Xbox One Smart Match.
Have you ever had a game that you love playing, but isn't that popular? I remember loving Tom Clancy's Endwar, long after it had lost its popularity and the servers were low. This was pretty frustrating, because I would sit in a lobby forever before finding a match. The new Xbox One system allows you to search for a multiplayer match and can give you an estimated wait time. As the system is preparing the match, the player is free to go watch TV, browse the internet, listen to music, or go play another game. No more waiting for your friends to show up in the lobby, or peddling around while you wait on a match to begin. Once the server has found a match and the game is ready to start, then the player can jump right into the action.
Players can also search for games based on a number of different criteria. Major Nelson's blog mentions that some games may feature searches for matches based on Skill, language, and even find players of similar age.
Are you sick of being matched up with players who spew hate and racist remarks? Idiots who scream or sing into the mic? How about players who drive backwards in racing games?
The new Xbox One features a Smart match reputation system that rewards you for good behavior. The more time you spend online without people complaining or muting you, the higher your reputation will be. You will be placed in matches with players of similar reputation. Players who enjoying raping ear drums will be matched with each other and so on. With the power of the cloud, reputation is calculated in real time and can be evaluated based on individual titles. Microsoft assures players that they don't have to worry about having a few games where people abuse the system and report them for no good reason - the system will measure the player based on overall experience.
Possibly the biggest feature that stands out to me as a gamer is the fact that all Xbox One games will have Dedicated Servers for multiplayer. That means, no more peer-to-peer hosting games where the host has an advantage, no more host leaving session - server migration - no more rubber-banding. The games should run smoothly and also support as many multiplayer players in games as the developer can.
Major Nelson Smart Match: http://majornelson.com/2013/06/11/xbox-one-smart-match/
Wired: Inside Xbox One: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/05/xbox-one/
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