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Xbox One promises to revolutionise online multiplayer matchmaking with its new Smart Match system, but how does it differ to the systems in place on current consoles? Microsoft has detailed three reasons why you should be excited about what Smart Match offers.

Firstly, Smart Match uses "advanced algorithms to pair players based on skill, language, and now reputation", says Mike Lavin, Xbox Live senior product marketing manager.

"The advanced party system goes far beyond the beacons of Xbox 360, which was limited to people you already knew," writes Lavin. "Helping you discover and connect easily with players is now central to the experience. In addition, for the first time, games will be able to share player stats with Xbox Live and each other; to learn, evolve, and provide you with the best possible matchmaking available."

It means games now have the "ability to match you with other players based on reputation, skill, language, age, and even your specific gameplay style."

Secondly, Smart Match promises to free up your time.

"You can do whatever you want while Xbox One finds your perfect match," explains Lavin. "This means that less popular multiplayer modes and maps that have traditionally taken a long time to find players suddenly become playable. Because Snap mode is a core feature of Xbox One that lets you do two things at once, you no longer have to wait in lobbies while Xbox Live is matchmaking for you. One friend can even set up matches for your whole party."

This means you can use the Xbox One to watch TV, a movie, check a website or even play a digital game while Smart Match is working to prepare your game. And it links in with the third reason why Smart Match will change the way you play: Smart Match will notify you when your game is ready to go.

"Once Xbox One is done finding your perfect match, it will prompt you with a simple toast - no matter where you are or what you’re doing - so you can jump straight into playing," says Lavin.

Xbox One and Smart Match will be available in November.

Source: Xbox.com

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BrySkye's Avatar

BrySkye

If you were to ask me, CoD (and subsequently Halo 4) got it right with drop in/drop out.
You don't have to wait for a full lobby to start a round in CoD. People can leave and join the game while it's in progress and most people don't even notice when someone leaves. Another quickly fills the slot.

Halo 3 and Reach took the polar opposite approach, where Bungie had coded measures that if you frequently dropped out of games, you'd be temporarily banned from matchmaking. The more your offended, the longer the bans and the system would try to start matching you with other people who frequently dropped out.

One of my worst XBL gaming experiences was a match in Halo 3 where, right at the start, the 3 other people on my team dropped out, leaving me on my own against a team of 4.
And if you tried to quit yourself, first you would get a condescending warning about it.
Posted 13:54 on 01 August 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ BC_Animus

I also got a terrible rating on live for being too good at Gears 2 online. Not being big headed but the amount of hate messages I'd get for supposed cheating was ridiculous cause chainsawing someones face off was apparently cheating to idiotic teenage Americans although it was a part of the game. (This would however prompt me to chase down said players and chainsaw them all the more although gnasher was my weapon of choice.)

I think being good at something can lead to people believe you are cheating hence the false negative/positive feedback. This is something that may result in the wrong types of people getting put in the wrong types of game.
Posted 11:29 on 01 August 2013
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ BC_Animus

Unfortunately for you a consistent stable internet connection in an online multiplayer game is part and parcel with a good rating. If people you play with cant be guaranteed you wont drop out of the game randomly then that makes you a bad match for just about everyone.

@FM the article explains why sufficiently as far as i'm concerned. Less popular multiplayer modes take longer to match you up. Certainly not long enough to watch a movie, but you could just as easily do anything else. It'd be nice if you could play another game while you wait. But I guess that would require a lot of resources. Nothing to stop you playing the game though like StreetFighter 4's Fight Request, I think Halo 3 allowed you to carry on playing singleplayer then jump into multiplayer when a match was made too.
Posted 08:20 on 01 August 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

IMO online rep system don't really work - especially when the community involved is immature (as in attitude) and mainstream like XBL's.

I have a bad XBL rating atm I think, even though I didn't play online much with my Xbox360 - think I tested online modes and features a total of something like 20 times. Problem was my net connection was rubbish, and had dropped out during games something like two or three times. Sadly got reported and voted down for that.
Posted 06:44 on 01 August 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I guess my question is why does matchmaking take so long that you have time to watch a movie or TV in the meantime? Why don't games offer a 'jump in and get playing' feature while you're waiting for more to join? e.g. you could warm up on the sidelines in FIFA, do some target practice in COD, shoot hoops in NBA, or even have horde modes balanced for 1-player then scale up as more join?
Posted 11:24 on 31 July 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

But does it have an option to not be matched with a bunch of screaming US teenagers? That would be a system seller!
Posted 10:49 on 31 July 2013