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Xbox One vs. PS4 Dedicated Servers

Posted by QuoteColo on April 20, 2015 - Updated on September 06, 2017

Xbox One vs. PS4 Dedicated Servers

There is quite a bit of confusion over the use of dedicated servers on Xbox One and PS4. There is no hard and fast way to determine which one is able to offer better support for servers because there are so many variables. However, learning more about what each of the platforms is offering and how they are working with servers can provide a better idea of which one might be the best choice for your gaming needs. Read on to learn more about how these companies are approaching servers for their game.

Sony and Microsoft in the Cloud

The cloud is more than just a buzzword, and it was more than just a PR move when the two companies announced that their new systems would be using the cloud for storing game data, as well as for servers. Microsoft has been a big proponent of the cloud for many years, and they are actually one of the top cloud providers in the world. It was only natural that their new gaming system would somehow incorporate the cloud. After all, they had a substantial amount of the technology already in place.

Xbox One is running on Microsoft Azure, their cloud platform. The apps and games on the system are also running on the cloud. Developers and publishers will be able to use this service for their games. However, some developers have chosen to have their own servers instead. Both can be a good option when it comes to dedicated servers. Titanfall, uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers on Xbox One, and that game was published by EA. This game was only available for the Xbox platform. EA publishes a number of other games as well, including those in the Battlefield series. EA has different servers for these games on both PS4 and Xbox One. They are dedicated servers, and they work well for the most part. However, there are some issues, which we will discuss later in the article.

While Microsoft has Azure, Sony acquired Gaikai before the release of the PS4. They are using this cloud-based service for some of the servers for the games released on their platform. They also use it for their game streaming services, which gives the PS4 “sideways compatibility”. This means that it can play games from the older system, but it does so by streaming them from a server rather than actually playing them on the new system’s hardware.

Many of the companies that offer multiplayer games have their own dedicated servers that allow players on the gaming system to get online and play. They are not relying on the dedicated and cloud server options through the platforms themselves.

Issues Even With Dedicated Servers

One of the biggest problems is that the servers will accommodate players from all around the world. While this seems like a good thing and something that a dedicated server should be able to handle, you have to think about the differences and the connections. Those who are in Japan, for example, and who are signing on to servers located in the United States, will have a high ping. To compensate this, developers for the Battlefield franchise, and other games, often put in something called “lag compensation”. This gives the out of region players, who are choosing to play on foreign servers rather than local servers, an advantage. What a player in the United States sees happening on his or her screen is not necessarily what the foreign player sees. The foreign player, because of the lag compensation, gets an advantage.

Do all dedicated servers have this problem? No, they don’t, and they are much better as an option than player hosted servers. A player-hosted server is just as it sounds. One of the players in a multiplayer match acts as the host server for the other players in the game. Most of the time, the host does not even realize that he or she is host. This provides something called “host advantage”, and it means that the person who is hosting the game will often see what’s happening on the screen just a bit sooner than the others do. This can make them more difficult to kill in first person shooter games, for example. Still, this type of server solution is common even though it is full of flaws. The main reason for this is the fact that it is cheaper.

With the latest Call of Duty release, titled Advanced Warfare, there has been quite a bit of speculation that the company was not using dedicated servers for the game. Instead, they were using players as hosts. This has caused some to have some problems with how the game runs for them. If they always choose players and hosts who were in the same region, it would not be as much of an issue. However, AW, and other titles that use this system, sometimes put hosts and players together who are out of region. This detracts from the experience.

What Type of Games Need Dedicated Servers?

Do all multiplayer games need to have dedicated servers? No, they don’t, even though it might be nice for the gaming community. When it comes to turn-based games, such as strategy games, fast timing is not quite as important. This means that a server that’s a bit slower is not going to be such a detriment. However, some types of games simply need dedicated servers. These include fighting games, racing games, and first person shooters. Call of Duty, Battlefield, Need for Speed, and Mortal Kombat rely on accuracy and fast reflexes. Unless these games are always running on high quality dedicated servers, they are going to suffer. They need to be reactive and show the players what is actually happening on screen.

So, which of the two platforms has better dedicated servers? While Microsoft is certainly putting a lot of faith in the cloud and using its power for dedicated servers, Sony’s Playstation console is no slouch. Chances are you will notice very little difference between the platforms. As mentioned, some of the games and publishers that offer dedicated servers for games are using their own servers rather than going through the cloud on the platform. Instead of worrying about which one has the “best” servers, since they are so comparable, it makes more sense to look at other aspects of the platform when you are choosing one.

Choose the platform that has the games you love, and that has specs that matter to you. In addition, think about the system that your friends use. If you want to play multiplayer with your friends, then that’s the most important thing to consider.

The power of dedicated servers, and the cloud, is growing. Over the course of the next few years, we should start to see even better gains when it comes to gaming. The servers will be even faster and more responsive, and this should make gamers everywhere quite happy!

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