Online video game question (PSN or XBL)

So I read that EA Sports is shutting down their servers for a bunch of titles, including relatively recent ones like Madden 09 and NCAA Football 09. I was under the impression that for consoles (Playstation and Xbox), it’s Microsoft and Sony that were hosting the games. Is that not the case? So since my friend who just got a PS3 for Christmas won’t be able to play me at Madden 09 now?

Microsoft only hosts matchmaking and content servers and, even then, they don’t host all of them. The actual games are generally hosted by a player’s console. Your friend will not be able to join online games after the shut down.

Wait - if they’re hosted by the player’s console, then how does this affect us? (Sorry.)

You need to use their server to connect up.

Ah. That sucks. How many servers could they possibly have going? And how terrible would service be if they dropped their service to a server or two?

Yikes, they’re giving up on Madden '09 already? That is some scary shit and good evidence that that model for multiplayer is severely fucked. There are games that are over a decade old that still have plenty of people around playing because users can run their own dedicated servers without any reliance on the permission or matchmaking services of the publisher of the game. Now they’re forcing out multiplayer in games that are barely a year and a half old?

There was a pretty big feud about this a few years back, between EA and Microsoft. The only way EA would support Xbox Live was if they could run their own servers…this is the result.

Fuck EA.

Yep, this is nothing but old predictions come to pass. They want to force you to buy the latest edition, and then they’ll kill that one too once the next comes out. Give a publisher the ability to force obsolecence and that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Can you not hook up the boxes directly to each other? If so, couldn’t you tunnel that connection over the Internet?

Also, what are the chances that someone hacks together an alternate server? It’s easy on PC, but I figure it might be harder on the consoles…

They removed system link support in Maddon 09, otherwise it would’ve been very possible to tunnel it over the internet. I’m positive they used to do that for Halo.