Everything we know about Dedicated Servers on Consoles and PCs; What about PS4?

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Dedicated servers have been a very hot topic this week with the announcement of them coming to Xbox One and PCs. Right now the big question being asked is “why not PS4?”. As of now, they’re not ready to talk about other platforms however CoD Community member VIP, Adam (aka xMaccabix), wrote a pretty good breakdown of what we know so far which should provide a good hint on if we’ll see dedicated servers on PS4 or current-gen for that matter.

Here’s what he had to say:

Xbox One
Is getting dedi’s, These are being hosted by Microsoft using their “cloud” service Azure which has been linked into the XBL platform.. Microsoft have invested hundreds of millions into their cloud services over the last two years and have server farms located in strategically placed locations throughout the world with more coming online in the future. Azure is primarily a system that allows any company the ability to use an azure server for whatever they need, be it web hosting, distributedcomputing or in this case to host games.

To avoid going into technobabble, Azure comes with its own special operating system that can be implemented into existing applications or run as a layer over another system. This is why being able to utilize Azure for game servers on the xbox one is now possible.

At present and although Microsoft don’t readily publicize where their servers are you can find out roughly using a quick search on the net, but please bear in mind not all locations are made public so as with anything on the net take any information as a rough guide not as 100% fact. Please see further down for more information in the dedis bullet points.

Infinity Ward had alot of meetings with the engineers from Microsoft about their cloud services, it wasn’t an instant decision and honestly wasn’t one Microsoft pushed onto Infinityward/Activision. I know when IW first started talking to the engineers from MS they were asking questions the engineers didn’t even have answers to as their own systems weren’t actually finalized. The final decision wasn’t just oh there is dedis lets use them. IW really spent along time working out if it was both practical and something that wouldn’t degrade the online experience we all know and love and would ultimately improve it for most people.

PC
The pc platform is getting RANKED dedis at launch . Again as these are pc the servers will more than likely be hosted using the Azure system The option to RENT player controlled servers from a third party will be a feature possible AFTER launch (no date has been confirmed as yet ) but these will probably not be ranked servers. As Ghosts will have the ability to transfer your Character from one platform to another security of a closed system especially for PC is paramount.

More details of the pc stuff will be coming out shortly so make sure you follow @Infinityward on twitter.

PS4
At present Nothing has been announced either way for PS4, this is what it is. You should remind yourself the announcement for dedis on Xbox One was made at a Microsoft press event so obviously there would be no mention of anything ps4 related there. There have always been huge technical hurdles in getting dedis running for the console platforms something Microsoft has made a lot easier for Xbox one. Obviously for PS4 it isn’t able to access Microsofts system so to run dedis on PS4 would involve a third party server provider or for Sony to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars to build their own server farms. I have seen recently alot of people taking about Sony’s “cloud services” coming online in 2014 and wrongly assuming this relates to providing dedis- Their “cloud service” is Gaikia it is NOT a dedicated server platform it is a system designed to STREAM games being played on a server onto your screen. Gaikia will allow you to play older ps titles and to utilize the play anywhere service Sony promoted, but you should also bear in mind this service is streamed so it will have inherent latency issues attached to it as any control action has to go to the server first. This isn’t to say Sony dont have a system in place already or that they aren’t working on a system to host games As I explained adding dedis to Xbox one was a alot easier than for PS4 as the Xbox had a ready made system already in place due to microsofts Azure service.

I’ve seen a few comments along the lines of Atvi is too cheap to add dedis for PS4 ect (a comment I’ve seen numerous times in past cods tbh) The fact is the amount of infrastructure needed to host Cod on dedis costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build and then a good few million a month in operating costs, its not something you can just run out and buy. It’s worth bearing this in mind .

So will PS4 have dedi’s? At this point we don’t know. Anything you hear that doesn’t come directly from Infinity Ward is pure speculation so should be treated as such.

Dedis – the bendy bullet points

Will dedis cure lag? – Simple answer no.

People seem to think dedis are some sort of golden magical bullet that will cure every ill you experience online, this unfortunately isn’t the case at all. What dedi’s will bring to the table for consoles are things like no host migrations, from the dedis side a smooth experience that isn’t affected by the the (as in old games) hosts own bandwidth causing issues. More security in game as the ability for the nefarious to run unsigned code as hosts on chipped xboxes is gone.
The one major issue with any online gaming experience is your ping, it doesn’t matter how much bandwidth you have, how advanced your home network is ultimately your online experience if you have a stable connection is down to ping. Ping for those who aren’t familiar with the term is the time it takes data to travel from your console/pc to a server and back.
One advantage listen servers (p2p as some call it) ie the system CoD has always used over dedis is host location, While the host may not always have been the best the chances are the host would’ve been quite close to you.

With dedi’s it comes down to locations of the servers, The golden rule for dedis has always been the closer you are the better your ping is, while this maybe slightly generalized as a statement as there are other factors like your own connection quality ect this is how dedis usually work for players. Saying that though players on dedis will find their games run better and everyone will be a lot more equal as there is now no host advantage/disadvantage depending what side of the fence you were on that one.

One of the things IW would’ve looked at before deciding to go down the dedi route is server locations, if they couldn’t provide locations that gave very good coverage they would not have gone down this route. BUT thats not to say at present all geographic locations will have great coverage. Some more outlying or low population area’s will still potentionally have dedis depending on that area being covered by Azure. but you may find those servers are further afield than you would like to connect too and I would assume (*disclaimer this is an ASSUMPTION by me). That there would still be back up systems in the game to use listen servers for down times of dedis and for low pop areas or areas that are not covered by azure.

Matchmaking changes

One of the things that alot of people mention is matchmaking, and anyone who knows me from these forums knows it’s an area I have clashed heads with IW over numerous times in the past . There has been a lot of work done on matchmaking and Ghosts will see a few new features added to matchmaking that will improve how matchmaking works. One of the most important ones for me (as its something I repeatedly highlighted) was the fact geolocation especially for european players had an inherent flaw . due to the way Ip blocks are bought and sold by european isps it was possible to be in the middle of the UK but the game thought you were in Italy. To counter this Ghosts will match make using your actual internet distance (and hops) rather than basing any matchmaking off your actual physical location. This will ensure players are better matched and potentially will be matched more locally. Iw trawled through a ton of connection metrics during MW3 and have taken a lot of feedback and comments from the community when it came to matchmaking. I spoke to Mark Rubin during my time out in La during E3 and I was very impressed with some of the idea’s he and the team had either come up with or discussed.

Now the more astute of you here might now be wondering why if we are getting dedis on some platforms (ie the confirmed ones so far before the ps4 crowd go wait a minute..) why we still need matchmaking? – The answer is even with dedis the game still needs to place you into a session (game lobby) that gives you the best experience.

SOURCE: @xMaccabix from CODHQ

  • MrHawkeye1996

    Xbox one online is gonna be epic!

    • ip x Warrior

      Not only the online.. Xbox One is epic !

      • MrHawkeye1996

        True!

      • rem

        LOL

      • https://www.facebook.com/pages/GODZ-Clan/222097414482241 dukezap1

        I like how every just switches around as soon as M$ reverses their shitty plans, looks like you fools fell for it and are once again throwing your money at a shit corporation that doesn’t deserve or need it.

        • IfeBakarey

          Well not really, Xbox 360 & Xbox Live was a great console & service and Microsoft wasn’t seen as the ‘evil’ corporation. So saying they don’t deserve it is an understatement.

        • ip x Warrior

          Look we don’t care, you’re probably a PlayStation fan (I got no problem with that) but I’m an Xbox guy.. and even if the ps4 might be better than the Xbox one, I am still getting an Xbox one because it will be better than the 360..

          • https://www.facebook.com/pages/GODZ-Clan/222097414482241 dukezap1

            I wasn’t b4, it was a VCR, a paper weight worth $500. Its inferior to the PS4 yet you physiologically believe on giving M$ money because you have to “Defend your Brand” because if your brand fails, you fail, in your mind. I know human psychology

          • ip x Warrior

            How can I fail if the xbox one is better than the 360 ?

          • https://www.facebook.com/pages/GODZ-Clan/222097414482241 dukezap1

            Xbox One is inferior to PS4 and more money. So choice it poor

          • ip x Warrior

            I don’t care.. im still having an Xbox one I want dedicated server for ghosts on the release day !

          • Bryan

            Oh, i know human psychology too, you’re a Sony buttlicker, get outta here

  • NiftyGam3r

    Sony’s not getting Dedicated servers… “Cuz you don goofed”

    • xx420xx

      cancer

    • MrJDGuns

      and you know this becuase?

  • SuckCock4Life

    Holy typo galore!

    • http://www.charlieINTEL.com Victor

      It was copied over from a forum post. He’s a community member, not a professional writer, be kind ;)

  • lolwut

    On this part:

    “Obviously for PS4 it isn’t able to access Microsofts systemso to run dedis on PS4 would involve a third party server provider or for Sony to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars to build their own server farms.”

    There is no technical reason why the PS4 would not be able to access the Azure infrastructure, but I would imagine that as Microsoft are offering discounted pricing to studios that within the pricing agreements they are prohibited from using the service for other platforms.

    Also, Sony do not need to build their own server farms. Sony is already using Amazon’s cloud offering and in addition has signed a deal with Rackspace for use of their cloud.

    http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2013/08/09/playstation-brings-on-rackspace-talent-to-help-with-openstack-private-cloud-deployment/

    Both Amazon and Rackspace have been in the cloud business for a lot longer than MS.

    • http://www.charlieINTEL.com Victor

      That would be up to Sony to cough up some money to strike a deal with Azure I’m guessing..

    • xmaccabix

      Can you really see microsoft offering sony access to their systems o_0
      As for the “cloud” deals Sony have made recently , the “cloud” is a very fuzzy term which gets bandied about alot nowadays but has no real meaning. Dedis do not automatically equal cloud and vice versa

    • sean

      Nice link
      So i just checked Rackspace and apparently their dedicated servers support 2TB of bandwidth and they cost 499$ per month.
      Assuming everyone on psn is allocated (for example) 20 gb of bandwidth (5 up 15 down?) Than each server can support 100 psn users.
      With all 100 persons paying 5$ a month this covers rackspaces monthly fee of 499$ with a dollar to spare ;)

  • MattM1974

    If Microsoft’s Servers are anything like what EA/DICE have for Battlefield 3 on consoles, it will be a “golden magic bullet” for lots and lots of people.

  • Super_Deluxe

    I hope they will release previous CODs that can be played on the Xbox One and trade in our 360 version or sell them for dirt cheap. I know I’m gonna miss them and gonna watch to play them like I do now.

  • David Sync

    Even if PS4 gets dedi.s then I can hear people complain about Sony copying Xbox

  • Ricardo

    I’m still getting a PS4 but I’m gonna wait it out on COD this year and not buy it on day 1 I’ll wait till February so I can see if the game has problems from the past still in it.

  • leedleleedle

    PS4 is probably going with Amazon EC2 since there Gaikai servers are only used for Streaming Classics Games. I wouldn’t be surprise if Sony made a Contract with either Amazon or Rackspace to use there Servers for dedicated Servers for games like CoD Ghosts

  • TepidBlack

    Oh god, the quality of the writing in this article is appalling. How can you expect to be taken seriously as a news source if you can’t even run spellcheck on an article before publishing it?

    • xmaccabix

      My murdering of the english language is a well known occurrence, as for being taken seriously I do some of my best work vocally for a reason ;).

    • Mo

      Lol I was thinking the very same!

  • Daniel Balongo Kanellis

    But what happen with Xbox 360 and ps3? need answers with this console…..

    • http://www.xboxmp.com/ Dustin DeFoe

      Most likely they will use the fallback plan of Listen Servers as he mentioned. Until we hear otherwise, you can probably safely assume PS4 also falls into this camp.

  • Batman

    Congratulations activision, you just lost a consumer!!

    • I_HAV2_POOP

      They don’t care…they only listen to cry babies like the quick scopers…QS was fun in MW2 but lets be real…nobody can shoot a 50cal by throwing it up like that and nobody would be able to hit there targets like that…that was the thing about it…its no skill…these games have got worse cause of the people playing them…everyone is obsessed with K/D…if they took that stat away and the only way you got killstreaks is by playing the objective it would be a amazing game! Just saying. ..

      • Codisterrible4life

        lol when was cod a realistic game ?

    • I_HAV2_POOP

      They don’t care…they only listen to cry babies like the quick scopers…QS was fun in MW2 but lets be real…nobody can shoot a 50cal by throwing it up like that and nobody would be able to hit there targets like that…that was the thing about it…its no skill…these games have got worse cause of the people playing them…everyone is obsessed with K/D…if they took that stat away and the only way you got killstreaks is by playing the objective it would be a amazing game! Just saying. ..

  • I_HAV2_POOP

    Is it me or did EVERYONE ignore the statement “Will dedis cure lag? – Simple answer no!”

    • jb jhbo

      dedicated servers cant cure lag only reduce it. its impossible to play lag free

    • Mo

      What it will do for the most part is stabilize your experience. If you lag, it’ll be roughly the same EVERY game, and if you don’t it’ll be like that every game too. You wont have to alter your play style every time host changes.

  • I like COD

    This is fucking stupid bf3 had dedis on all systems wat makes cod so god damn special just put servers and let people buy em

    • Jarhead

      Hosting 100 million players is a different story than BF3.

      • some1exampe1

        where are you getting this 100 million player count.

        go on any call of duty match and at most you get 200,000 (+/- 50,000) players online at any moment.

        some game modes you are lucky to have a thousand.

  • some1exampe1

    get ready for people to complain when some hick has the “cornfield” advantage because he lives 3 blocks from the server farm in iowa and is unstoppable.

    it’ll be a new perk: hillbillly pro.

    • DanDustEmOff

      It’s often a matter of milliseconds difference. So I doubt they will be unstoppable.

  • http://www.xboxmp.com/ Dustin DeFoe

    Nice writeup @disqus_Z4fVJP51rh:disqus. Very thorough explanation. Too many people don’t seem to understand dedis and what they mean.

  • GeDDeN

    This might be stupid question but will the dedi servers on xbone be ranked games??

    • http://twitter.com/kanaye_ Tyson Matsuki

      Yes. There’s no such thing as “unranked online server” on console.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/nickdenton9 Nicka

    “Atvi is too cheap to add dedis for PS4 ect (a comment I’ve seen numerous times in past cods tbh) The fact is the amount of infrastructure needed to host Cod on dedis costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build and then a good few million a month in operating costs, its not something you can just run out and buy”

    – yeah don’t agree with this, Activision has made a shit load of cash from the COD franchise over the past 7+ years… If they did in fact create the server farms needed then they wouldn’t have so many fans of the series leave to go to battlefield and other games (especially since the next gen is almost here which gives more options..) It would actually be more of an investment to keep and grow their current player base instead of turning them away with inconsistent multiplayer matches.

    They could have set up up over the space of a few years, each new game launches dedi servers for a new region starting with the biggest selling regions (ie. – MW2 Dedi for US & Europe, BlackOps 1 Adds dedi’s for AU/NZ & Asia etc..)

    I know that If Ghosts on the PS4 has the same inconsistencies in MP gameplay that the past few CODS have had – then that will be my leave card – trade it in and find a new franchise with more stability

  • http://www.prolimehost.com/best-dedicated-server.html Paul

    Nice post. I have to say that PlayStation 4 is the same as xbox and PC console. It is not different to both them. So you can use it.

  • Disqusteq

    Doesn’t mean shit for Sony who is near biting the dust after the last 2 hacks.. Sony’s greedy asses are still using the same damn elastic service that Amazon lost to every code-monkey and hacker on the lamb since 2011. Amazon knows they screwed up and no longer have control over it, yet are still leasing out the space. Enter Sony who ponied up and paid the cash, only to be bit by the backlash when the same hackers who brute forced amazon, brought down PSN and now recently, Sony studios as well. What most PSN subscribers don’t know, is you are literally walking a thin line using Sony’s convoluted network and P2P hosting on already compromised space. Don’t believe me, check your firewall logs next time you boot up advanced warfare.. Use to be a Sony fan until I said no to the kool-aid. Shit is getting risky and consumers are now getting caught in the B.S..

  • Fluttershy

    playstation is the exact same as xbox i don’t see a difference

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/GODZ-Clan/222097414482241 dukezap1

    Nope, thats just a Xbox fanboy myth

  • David Sync

    Agreed

  • DanDustEmOff

    No way, CoD has always ran better online on the Xbox than the PS. The game is developed on the Xbox and ported over to the PS. We don’t get all the freezes and crashes you PS guys get.

  • Diabolus

    I have all CoDs from MW2 through BO2 on both platforms and although the game itself runs smoother on the xbox, connectivity wise there are no differences…

  • sean

    nope try again, it’s developed on the PC first

  • SeptsUniverse

    Dude, get your tonque out of PS4s butthole and cut it off, its a fucking fact, so why are you even here? jealous of Xbox Ones dedicated servers? you are so pathetic, get outta here!

  • sean

    This is an article about next gen Dedis in General, don’t be and asshat