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Unreal Tournament 3 cross-platform play STILL unconfirmed

Despite numerous sites taking the recent Gamespy press release to mean that Unreal Tournament 3 will include PC to PS3 cross platform play, this is still not necessarily the case. For those not in the know, Gamespy have recently partnered with Epic to offer all Unreal Engine 3 licensees the ability to connect to the Gamespy network and utilize its matchmaking and profile tools. This includes cross platform play between the PS3 and PC. While the partnership means that allowing cross-play would be easy, Mark Rein has stated to us that the decision to include it in Unreal Tournament 3 has yet to be made. As for other Unreal Engine 3 games, using these tools will be up to individual developers.

Mark was keen to emphasize that the Gamespy multiplayer tools are not a replacement for Games for Windows LIVE. It is simply another choice given to developers using the engine. We're sure that if anything changes regarding cross play for UT3 then an announcement will be made as appropriate. Until then, look forward to any and all Unreal Engine 3 games potentially having some excellent online play in the future.

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Reader Comments

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1. Just because it will have Gamespy doesn't mean cross platform play would be "easy" would it. There will be issues with balancing let alone the different code bases between the two versions. Sounds from the Mark Rein interview they are considering it but not important enough to delay the game. Plus think of the confusion if you forced PS3 players to use a keyboard/mouse for cross platform play and not for the rest of the game be it single player or just PS3 matches?

Posted at 1:46PM on Aug 17th 2007 by RangerPrimeX

2. #1:

The game shouldn't care what you're using as input, all the multiplayer code does is tell the server "I turned right and fired just now" and the server echoes that to others in the match. It doesn't say "I pushed left on the right analog stick, leaned the Sixaxis to the right and pressed X". That's up to the game engine to translate into net code.

The Unreal engine is designed to abstract these things, which makes cross-platform gaming even more likely to happen. I just hope that this game and others like it allow you to run a thin server on a PC or linux box (like Q3 or other PC games) and have your PS3 friends connect to it and play. There's no reason to tie up a PS3 with stuff like dedicated serving.

Posted at 2:31PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Popfrogs

3. If they allow mouse support then I think cross platform play is a must. Isn't the PS3 designed as a computer, so is it really that hard?

The NCAA 08 demo is not very fun.

Posted at 2:33PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Andy

4. @2, that's a ridiculous assessment of the control scheme. That's like saying, "Basketball is simply throwing a ball in a hoop, I should be able to play in the NBA." There is no question that mouse/keyboard precision in FPS is leaps and bounds higher than a console controller. Sure, if a PS3 user is using a mouse/keyboard in the game, then he shouldn't be at a disadvantage. But someone using a controller versus a PC player is definitely at a disadvantage. I appreciate them trying to create cross platform play, but I really hope they label the rooms so that if you desire to sit on your comfy couch with a controller you can filter out cross platform rooms so that you aren't constantly at a disadvantage.

Posted at 2:55PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Nick

5. sounds like you dont like a challenge. just think... you are on a ps3 with a SIXAXIS and win a match against a lot of people with keyboards and mice. that would let people know you are tha MAN!! (or WOMAN!!)

Posted at 3:14PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Jay Are Baboon

6. LOL @ Jay Are Baboon.

@ Nick, I think you misunderstood. I don't think there are many people in this world who debate about a controller owning keyboard/mouse for FPS's lol.

#2 (Popfrogs) meant that the engine processes and translates the actions from the controller much the same as a keyboard/mouse combination. Movements, aiming, directions, weapons, those are all easily translated into the same code whether from a controller of kb/m combination. So theoretically, it shouldn't be very difficult at all to have PS3 matches with some controllers and some kb/m uses.

Posted at 3:47PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Dahk

7. @4

#2 is actually pretty accurate there. so long as the game is feature-wise the same, then cross compat is a non-issue

of course balance wise a kb/mouse will own a controller, but they can always have a separate controller-only server

Posted at 4:34PM on Aug 17th 2007 by chaod

8. @4 The point he was making was a valid one, and he's right.

Posted at 4:42PM on Aug 17th 2007 by DownwardMonkey

9. you know what would be the most ironic thing that could happen? After all this speculation there will be no cross platform for ps3 and pc but 360 and pc instead!

Posted at 5:40PM on Aug 17th 2007 by shase

10. @9

That's not irony.

Posted at 5:51PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Ian

11. Agreed, the irony is in the fact the PS3 is the one involved in this cross-platform talk and not the 360 with all it's live anywhere jive.

Posted at 6:01PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Vince UK

12. @ #2
In the interview with Mark Rein, he stated that the entire gameplay speed is effected by the control scheme. Typically they slow down things like movement speed of characters and weapon fire if you play by gamepad as opposed to Keyboard/mouse so control method does matter. That is why it took so long for the balancing of Shadowrun.
It will be interesting to see if they pull it off or not bother.

Posted at 6:29PM on Aug 17th 2007 by RangerPrimeX

13. Unreal Engine 3 has a fatal flaw. Server side hit detection, otherwise known as host advantage. It showed big style in Gears Of War.

Cross platform gaming might help as many pc users set up dedicated servers where the host doesn't play. If there is no cross platform play then host, or expect to be frustrated by host advantage.

Posted at 6:54PM on Aug 17th 2007 by BigDaddyDavee

14. I can see the difficulty in this: 2 very different batches of code, competing. There are so many subtle timing differences all over the place, that once you get it online, these differences can really be exacerbated.

Perhaps in a not-too far future there will be some sort of protocol that can accomodate all this, so that the playing field is level, no matter what machine you're on.

At best, we may find that ps3 users have some advantage and pc's another, so it might balance out.

But I think this is what they're playing with and trying to correct and balance, and because there's no standard, they have to do it from the ground up.

You'll see more of this as pc-ps3-360 increasingly get to play together. Right now it's at the 'whim' of developers (read: demand of the people) and those developers with enough time and money are trying to make it work (okay, right now there's ONE)-- but eventually, through all of this, there will be a standard whereby I know generally, pings and all that aside, if I link up with a PC owner, he or she won't have an unfair advantage over me (or me over them).

I am looking forward to this, as it brings community.

In the future, it would be great to play with xboxers, pc people, and... in 2010/11, the Nintendo folks (oh snap no i didn't)

Posted at 9:53PM on Aug 17th 2007 by John

15. According to this article, it is already happening for other titles:

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=170214

I quote:

"Gearbox Software is one of a number of developers to already take advantage of a new PC-PS3 cross-platform online play solution that's been integrated into Unreal Engine 3."

The key word being ALREADY.

Posted at 10:04PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Hatchetforce

16. JR Baboon's comment is awesome-- I mean, think of the bragging rights!

Looking at Dahk's comment, I thought: almost all of my FPS experience is using a Sony PS controller. Pings and everything aside, maybe this controller is more intuitive to me than keys and mouse, so maybe I could beat someone with similar skill.

Though I doubt that, because I have the feeling that the mouse offers much more control than an analog stick I'm moving with my thumb. For the mouse, you have all the muscles of your arm and hand to move just the slightest amount. For an analog stick, you have all the powers of your thumb. Maybe the Japanese will beat us with Playstation controllers, but I personally am still not that good with thumbs.

So all I can think is... what the hell, if they actually make this work and I really want to play this game online with people... how much could a keyboard and mouse actually cost me? A minimum of $34 (keyboard $18, mouse $14, tax)-- maybe I wanna do that, and really compete. I'm hardcore.

And then, as chaod pointed out, they could always have controller-only, but of course that wouldn't be PC vs PS3 any more, would it?

And of course if PS3 people go on the PC boards with keyboard and mouse, yet keep getting owned... somebody's gonna say "PS3 sucks the PC" and ps3 will look bad, like it lacked processor/power advantage.

Of course, hardly anyone will say, Yeah but... PS3 owners are by NATURE weaker FPS players than PC owners, or even Xbox360 owners.

You would have to get a PC player to go on the PS3 against another PC player, both using mouse and keys, then they would switch off.

Fun! Wow, I love writing NICHE commentaries! (I mean, who else CARES?)

@Ian
Your comment was both sublime and... (Ironically)... IRONIC! Multiple levels. THX1111

I also agree with RangerPrimeX... I have noticed the 'assistance' given to the console fps' I have played, such that I focus or trigger easier-- by this I mean that there is some AI involved in interpretation of the input. So using an analog stick to aim, the code takes the general range of my motions and applies it to a potentiality circle within which I may take my hit. Whereas with the mouse, it is entirely in the player's hands. Of course, I LIKE that console FPS' do this, as it is enjoyable for me. My same skill would handle a keyboard and mouse almost exactly the same yet the code would not include "helpful targeting," but then that's because I have a better control mechanism.

So, if PS3 owners play with sixaxis instead of keyboard and mouse, do they get the helpful targeting systems that are typical for console FPS' using a controller? If so, we still can't say it's fair because you have AI code in-between the PS3 player and the game, whereas the PC player with mouse and keys will only have interpretive code.

Good point by BD2--


(http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2007/07/13/hands-on-unreal-tournament-iii/)

clientside- affected response to interaction may be more immediate (once the program code has been downloaded)Resistance:Fall of Man

serverside- affected by the processing speed of the host server (rainbow six and i think most or all fighting games)this can be affected by the hosts internet connection or really gay router :)

Posted at 10:04PM on Jul 14th 2007 by BestOfBothWorlds


and:

Clientside hit detection also needs server response, but at least, even if he starts downloading something your shooting wont be messed up by a sudden high latency (lag!) caused by a bad hoster.

Also, serverside tends to be I-win for hosters, and I dislike the fact that someone has a bigger chance to win because he isnt offering a good hosting. That's why I believe PS3 owners should have PC-connectivity, because we don't have the restrictions LIVE has in terms of network paid ownership. If we only could play on dedicated servers with the PC users... that would be good. Otherwise, clientside detection for the win.

Posted at 8:12AM on Jul 15th 2007 by blitz

Posted at 10:38PM on Aug 17th 2007 by John

17. JR Baboon's comment is awesome-- I mean, think of the bragging rights!

Looking at Dahk's comment, I thought: almost all of my FPS experience is using a Sony PS controller. Pings and everything aside, maybe this controller is more intuitive to me than keys and mouse, so maybe I could beat someone with similar skill.

Though I doubt that, because I have the feeling that the mouse offers much more control than an analog stick I'm moving with my thumb. For the mouse, you have all the muscles of your arm and hand to move just the slightest amount. For an analog stick, you have all the powers of your thumb. Maybe the Japanese will beat us with Playstation controllers, but I personally am still not that good with thumbs.

So all I can think is... what the hell, if they actually make this work and I really want to play this game online with people... how much could a keyboard and mouse actually cost me? A minimum of $34 (keyboard $18, mouse $14, tax)-- maybe I wanna do that, and really compete. I'm hardcore.

And then, as chaod pointed out, they could always have controller-only, but of course that wouldn't be PC vs PS3 any more, would it?

And of course if PS3 people go on the PC boards with keyboard and mouse, yet keep getting owned... somebody's gonna say "PS3 sucks the PC" and ps3 will look bad, like it lacked processor/power advantage.

Of course, hardly anyone will say, Yeah but... PS3 owners are by NATURE weaker FPS players than PC owners, or even Xbox360 owners.

You would have to get a PC player to go on the PS3 against another PC player, both using mouse and keys, then they would switch off.

Fun! Wow, I love writing NICHE commentaries! (I mean, who else CARES?)

@Ian
Your comment was both sublime and... (Ironically)... IRONIC! Multiple levels. THX1111

I also agree with RangerPrimeX... I have noticed the 'assistance' given to the console fps' I have played, such that I focus or trigger easier-- by this I mean that there is some AI involved in interpretation of the input. So using an analog stick to aim, the code takes the general range of my motions and applies it to a potentiality circle within which I may take my hit. Whereas with the mouse, it is entirely in the player's hands. Of course, I LIKE that console FPS' do this, as it is enjoyable for me. My same skill would handle a keyboard and mouse almost exactly the same yet the code would not include "helpful targeting," but then that's because I have a better control mechanism.

So, if PS3 owners play with sixaxis instead of keyboard and mouse, do they get the helpful targeting systems that are typical for console FPS' using a controller? If so, we still can't say it's fair because you have AI code in-between the PS3 player and the game, whereas the PC player with mouse and keys will only have interpretive code.

Good point by BD2--


(http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2007/07/13/hands-on-unreal-tournament-iii/)

clientside- affected response to interaction may be more immediate (once the program code has been downloaded)Resistance:Fall of Man

serverside- affected by the processing speed of the host server (rainbow six and i think most or all fighting games)this can be affected by the hosts internet connection or really gay router :)

Posted at 10:04PM on Jul 14th 2007 by BestOfBothWorlds


and:

Clientside hit detection also needs server response, but at least, even if he starts downloading something your shooting wont be messed up by a sudden high latency (lag!) caused by a bad hoster.

Also, serverside tends to be I-win for hosters, and I dislike the fact that someone has a bigger chance to win because he isnt offering a good hosting. That's why I believe PS3 owners should have PC-connectivity, because we don't have the restrictions LIVE has in terms of network paid ownership. If we only could play on dedicated servers with the PC users... that would be good. Otherwise, clientside detection for the win.

Posted at 8:12AM on Jul 15th 2007 by blitz

Posted at 10:39PM on Aug 17th 2007 by John

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