Knowledge of the Xbox One’s Smart Match has been elusive since Microsoft announced the feature, along with the next-generation console, earlier this May. The company dropped a few more hints about the revamped matchmaking system during this June’s E3, but the paucity of detail still left gamers with more questions than answers.
More intelligence arrived today, however, with Microsoft outlining a trio of features behind Smart Match’s intuitive design.
First is the nomenclature of “Smart,” which comes from the way Smart Match uses advanced algorithms to understand a player’s profile information: their skill, their language, and now even their reputation. According to Microsoft, “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.”
But as elaborate as the process may seem, Smart Match can handle matchmaking behind the scenes while players interact with the Xbox One in any other fashion. Ever been deterred from exploring the outer fringes of a game’s custom matchmaking capabilities because, you know, finding 11 similarly eccentric players might take an hour? Smart Match will let you watch a movie on Netflix, for example, during the wait, sending an alert once a session is ready to start.
The multitasking functionality harnesses the Xbox One’s Snap Mode, which — think of the way Windows lets users “snap” two windows side-by-side — allows players to run two features on the console simultaneously. The old-fashioned matchmaking lobby we’re used to may soon become a thing of the past as well; Microsoft says that one person can run the player search while still reserving spots for a party of friends, meaning that most participants in a match might not need to be present — with half of their console’s attention, at least — until the launch.
The ability for systems to gather and analyze data — to discover patterns, to highlight trends, to match a customer with their desired product or make predictions about a future event — has been as big a development as any in technology since the Xbox 360’s launch in 2005. It’s no surprise at all to see the Xbox One incorporate the same concepts — especially with Xbox Live finally facing stiff competition from Sony’s PlayStation Network in the later half of its run.
It’s one of the many subtle but
smart clever ways that next-gen technology is apt to improve the gaming experience; it will be interesting to see how the genuine feel of a multiplayer session changes with Microsoft claiming that Xbox One will “learn” and “evolve” in its matchmaking process over time.
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Source: Xbox Wire