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Why 'PvZ: Garden Warfare' has split-screen on Xbox One but not Xbox 360

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When Plants Vs Zombie: Garden Warfare releases for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 in February, the next-gen console will have the benefit of local split-screen play while the last-gen will not. PopCap Games explained why in an exclusive interview with Examiner.

“The Xbox One gives us the horsepower to do proper split-screen mode, whereas on Xbox 360 it wouldn’t have been possible without severely compromising frame rate and quality and stuff like that,” PopCap Producer Brian Lindley told Examiner.

“It’s one of those things where with next-generation hardware we’re like, ‘yeah we can do split-screen and we can hold the frame rate and make it look really good.’ That’s the primary reason that it exists on Xbox One only.”

That means if you want to sit down on a couch with a buddy or sibling to team up in the co-op survival mode where the Plants fend off waves of Zombies, you'll need an Xbox One. Local split-screen play is something that went by the wayside with the PS3 and Xbox 360 but it is something that Lindley hopes to see more of.

"A couple generations ago, most games had some sort of local multiplayer support and I think with this last generation or two, online multiplayer really came to the fore as part of console gaming. I think that took a lot of the focus away from local multiplayer," Lindley explained.

"To me, it feels like it’s swinging back the other direction, not that online multiplayer is less important, but trying to figure out how you have that couch play experience, and if you can support it with your game, it definitely adds huge value for players when they’re deciding on which games they want to buy. Speaking for myself, I think in the younger days online multiplayer is what I want to do the most, but now that I’m older and you have kids and you’re trying to figure out ways to get other friends and children involved, then it comes back to local multiplayer. I would love to see more split-screen and local multiplayer experiences come to life."

Local split-screen is not the only Xbox One exclusive feature though as, like Battlefield 4, the game also supports SmartGlass features on the next-gen console as well for the Commander-like Boss mode. Both features help justify the $39.99 price on the Xbox One versus the $29.99 price for the Xbox 360 version.

Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is due to release Feb. 18 for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

You can follow Scott via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed or email alerts for all the latest game news and deals as well as the weekly Furious Fourcast podcast/videocast. All game news on Examiner can be followed at the Game On Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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