Could the Xbox Scorpio mark the return of split screen gaming?

It’s become something of a rare sight these days to see a game that allows for local multiplayer gaming via split screen (2-to-4 players). Gone are the days where you could invite friends over to game together in a local co-op shooter (Gears of War 4 is a rare exception) or to have a quick race.

I for one miss this social aspect of gaming where you can have a cold drink together, stuff yourself with some snacks and thrashtalk the person next to you on the couch. Sure you can still do the latter over voice-chat, but I’ve always preferred the face-to-face contact.

So why is it that so few games offer this option these days? There is probably the financial aspect; not only do you force each person to buy their own copy of the game, but you also require each of them to have a paying membership like Xbox Live gold and PSN.

But another major factor is that games have become so much more detailed in the last few years and consoles can’t run multiple instances of the game at the same time anymore. This isn’t an issue in fighting games like Killer Instinct or Injustice 2 where you only have to render the 2nd character. But in racing games like Forza Horizon 3, you’d have to render the world twice and calculate actions of each racer and the effect on the world around them. The same can be said for First Person Shooters.

DOOM splitscreen

“Stop looking at my screen, bro!”

With the increase in power offered by the Xbox Scorpio (or whatever it will be called soon) we could perhaps see the return of Split-screen multiplayer. Microsoft has stated that all games would still be able to run on older versions of the Xbox One, but perhaps this would be a feature unique to the new, more powerful console. And if they start the trend, the PS4 pro will likely have to follow suit. And what of existing games? It could perhaps be offered as (free) DLC ?

It’s just speculation, but the idea has me thrilled. What do you think? Is it plausible? All future HALO games will at least have it:

What games (or their coming sequels) would you like to see with Local Multiplayer?

Here are some I would LOVE to see:

  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Bulletstorm Full Clip
  • Titanfall 2
  • Destiny 2
  • Battlefield 1
  • DOOM
  • SSX (I realise this is a 360 title, but I REALLY missed not having the option for this one)

Have your say!

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  1. I want to see Split Screen on these games:
    Halo 5 (loved playing custom maps online on Halo 3 with my bro)
    No Man’s Sky (if it was on the xbox)

    and on another note: I hope Star Wars Battlefront 2 Split Screen won’t disappoint and instead it will give us ALL Modes and Maps (Like the old Battlefront Titles), and if possible Split Screen online

    • well good news for new HALO games at least: 343 chief Josh Holmes said the decision to remove split-screen from Halo 5 “was one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio”.
      “We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room,” he said. “We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches.

    • Added the tweet about HALO to the article, as that seemed promising

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