Split screen multiplayer has all but stopped appearing in major titles. When I talk about split screen, I am talking about each player having his or her own section of the screen to play on. Not like in a fighting game where you are both on the same screen, or in some Kinect games where both players on together. Most AAA shooters and Co-op games, used to have split screen , but now most have gone to online play.
The original reason for having split screen was so that you could play with your friends. Split screen multiplayer allowed you to play racing games together with your buddies, and as soon as FPS games got big they started including split screen in them. However, now both racing games and shooters have almost exclusively gone to online play.
When I talk about the split screen, I am talking about having multiple people on one screen, but each person gets their own perspective. With Sports games you don’t have split screen. The MLB series of games does not have split screen, you simply have one perspective, and both players playing though that perspective. The same thing happens in the Madden games, the camera is behind the quarter back if two people are playing locally. The one exception to this is tennis games. With tennis games, the camera is placed behind the player you pick, whether or not you are serving.
The games that seem to have survived the purge of split screen are the purely social games. Games that have no inherent story line, such as fighting games or movement games, for example. These games still allow for split screen because they couldn’t survive without it. Movement games such as Kinect Adventures, or Wii Sports, like a lot of games, are much more fun with other people in the room. With movement games, playing and laughing with friends is what makes the games fun. The same goes for fighting games, without the trash talk that comes from playing with friends, they are not as fun.
With first person shooting games though, I would contend that having people in the room playing with you is just as much fun as with movement games or fighting games. So, why have they taken away the split screen from shooters such as Battlefield, or not even bothered to put split screen into some games. The thing is that in shooters, now that we have such an increased access to the internet, developers want us to play online, and not alone, offline. There are some shooters that will allow you to play with split screen, Halo for example will let you do it. Call of Duty will let you play Split screen too, however, only some will let you play online with split screen.
Along with most shooters, a lot of racing games no longer have split screen. The Need for Speed series no longer has split screen. The big racing franchise that still has split screen multiplayer, is the Forza Motorsport series. I can somewhat understand why shooters are mostly online now, however with racing games, I don’t know why they are online more. Racing games, just like movement games and party games, are much more fun with a couple of friends.
I seriously lament the lack of split-screen multiplayer in games these days. Party games are all well and good when you are playing with none gamers, but when you have a group of people who all like a game that does not have a split screen option it can be a real drag.