Behind The Curtain: The Warhawk Servers

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Warhawk Servers 1

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a “peek-behind-the-curtain,” to show you our sweet Warhawk server setup.

Those of you familiar with Warhawk already know that the game features a very unique server method that we call “Integrated Game Server” or IGS for short — the industry needs more acronyms don’t you think :-)

The Warhawk IGS method means that instead of us forcing players to be connected to the SONY “mothership” for any and all games, we instead let players host their own servers on their own PS3s. This is fairly unique and it enables a couple of really nice benefits.

First, since Warhawk is a global online game, our IGS method scatters game servers quite literally into player’s homes all over the planet — the US, China, Europe, Australia, and Japan! No matter where you live, what time you want to play, or what language you speak, you’ll always be able to get your game on.

Secondly, this helps with latency. If you haven’t heard, Warhawk is a fast game, a very fast game, so we wanted to ensure you had the best chance of finding servers with good ping times. We also wanted to make sure people could host *and* play on their own servers. After all, why should you have to connect to a server a gazillion hops away when you know that there are Warhawk servers running in your state or city? Possibly on your same ISP? Maybe even friends in your neighborhood or buddies in your dorm?

Hence our desire to develop an IGS system for Warhawk.

All that said, we still want to make sure that there are always an abundance of wicked-fast Ranked Dedicated servers available for players. The images that accompany this post were taken by our very talented IT team here at SCEA. And yes, what you’re looking at is an enormous server cluster for Warhawk…of rack-mounted PS3s!

During the public beta, many of you wanted *way more* Ranked-Dedicated servers to play on so you could level-up and earn awards, rank upgrades, etc….

Well…ask and ye shall receive!

In addition to players being able to host their own servers, 32-player “dedicated” servers for your clan practices or 24-player “player” servers, SONY has made a great commitment to all of our Warhawk players by staging Warhawk Server clusters similar to this one all over the world.

The system that our IT team engineered for Warhawk is truly killer and we couldn’t be happier with the setup — and hopefully players will be stoked too once the game launches. Just for the record…I am fairly confident that our IT team is not comprised of Autobots.

For those of you who participated in the beta, you may remember toward the end that some players started to “spoof” the official SONY server names — shame on you. I will find you all online and shank you repeatedly or snipe you in the crotch!

So…in the beta forums you all asked for a way to identify official SONY servers from player servers…Again, your wish is granted.

When Warhawk launches, all official servers are displayed with an eye-pleasing blue color in the server list. This gives players a really quick way of picking which server they want to connect to.

Alright, this post is getting pretty damn long so I gotta wrap it up.

The last thing I want to mention, and those of you who participated in the beta already know this, is that we don’t force game match-making on to our players with Warhawk. When you log-in to Warhawk, you get a server list…a *global* server list (with customizable filters of course), just like many of us have come to love from years of PC gaming. *You*, the player, get to choose the server you want to play on. If you don’t see a server out there that has exactly what you want…then launch your own.

And yes, you can play on your own server too…even in 4-way split screen.

Well…hope this gives you a bit more info on Warhawk’s server system and setup. If you have any questions please post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer as many as I can.

Rock on!

Warhawk Servers 3Warhawk Servers 2

Comments are closed.


2 Author Replies

  • perroza | August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am
    PS: Just wondering if those server rooms are hot as hell with all that PS3 power running?

    Those “servers” are in a server room with a raised floor you can tell by the tile floor with the holes. The tiles with the holes allo the dedicated AC units that blow the air through the floor up around the servers. I guarantee you that room is about “walkin fridgerator” temperature

  • @RabidPinata

    c’mon man. quit posting that same stuff in every blog post. SONY HAS SEEN THIS ATLEAST 200 TIMES. there is no need to post in all the time. The guy who created it has actually sent it to Sony twice just to make sure they got it.

    Your comment has nothing to do with Warhawk and it should be deleted.

  • Dude…this looks awesome!!!

    Are other big games (Namely . Unreal Tournament!) gonna be hosted in this same fashion?? Please say this will be the standard for most of the big online games… Great job here guys, seriously. Very cool.

  • Wow, that is an awesome setup.

    But Dylan, I still have one burning Warhawk questions that I haven’t seen an official answer to: Can you install the retail version of Warhawk to your PS3, with the possible help of a serial number, to you won’t need to swap out the disc from time to time to play other games.

    That really the only deciding factor between the PSN version and the Retail version for me. I like the though of having the game on my HDD with no reason to get off the couch and change discs. So this fall, I can play through a few levels of R&C:Future, then quit and play some Warhawk for a few hours. And vica versa.

    Thanks Dylan!

  • I second the post on the PS store!!! That is a cool photoshop mod! But: on Warhawk…..what does the bluetooth headset look like? Is it a special WH one or just a standard Jabra?

  • @efenili

    I doubt that unreal Tournament will use this style of connectivity due to the fact that UT3 is not developed by a first party publisher.

  • So this is where the unsold PS3’s go

  • Oh my God!!!! the betatesters was saying there wasn’t dedicated servers on the beta, now we know the true!!! Dedicated Servers!!!! YEEEHAAAA This is PSNetwork, I LOVE IT!!! I’ll purchase Warhawk the launch day!!

  • My question for the Q&A is if there wil be an option to turn off the HUD entriely? I have burned in enough static images on my $4500.00 TV that i have made it a dedicated gaming TV and am hoping to keep from adding anither crosshair or weapon from burning in on my screen. I understand that sometimes vital information is displayed, but i wouold rather have the option to use it or not. I am also wondering if the download version will allow the use of a network party or if that is only available on the disc version. The servers look great, i wish i could have performed that installation :) I am sure you have a few extra controllers laying around….

  • Dear Mr Dylan Jobe,

    On behalf of every European who wants Warhawk – may you please tell us when the game will be released, and if it’s delayed – can you say it softly..

    Thank you

  • Question: Will Warhawk Features Clan “Ranked” Matches with a Clan laddering system?

    If not, you boys better best get to work especially for an online only title. :)


  • WOW, no wonder Sony has only sold 4 million units out of 6….the other 2 mill. are in there.

  • @darkendless and PS3_123106

    Actually they have to pay for them regardless if your part of the company or not. (so techinically they would be sold)The accounting wouldn’t allow them to be given away.

    Now they probably didn’t pay retail price for them but cost price for them or a little more depending on how the department sold it.

  • can u do 4 way split screen online with other people besides the 4 playing split screen. And because the PS3 only accepts 7 Bluetooth devices if for people are playing on the same system can each of them have an individual headset. Could you ask sony to increase the limit of devices to like 9 or 10

  • they should have sent a poet. i had no idea.

  • Great post , keep the good work

  • I have a question for Dylan Jobe, not sure if he can answer me here but I’ll try anyway.

    We met at E3, Dylan, and talked a bit about the improvements to Warhawk since the Beta. When talking about the weapon selection system, IIRC you told me that Chaffs would now be deployed as soon as you select them (rather than pressing L1 after selecting them). Is that still the case? I’m asking this because I’ve just got the review code (god is it awesome!) and Chaffs work just like in the beta.


  • @jason9

    it is technically impossible to do what you are asking. 4 way split screen when the other players are not on the same PS3.

    Sony can’t “increase” the limit of bluetooth devices.

  • @ SCEA

    – Will Warhawk support different voice chat “channels” in the same team, like in Resistance where you had “Tango”, etc.?
    That would be very useful for a team composed of people of different nationalities.

    – when you start a game and you’re not wearing a headset, does the default setting make you listen to the other player’s voices through the TV? (I believe it should not, i think you should have the option to turn it on manually, but it should be turned off by default, so that other people don’t EXPECT that they can be heard by you, so crazy kids don’t start screaming, because they think that you can’t hear them anyway.)

  • Amazing just [DELETED] amazing. That picture is a thing of beauty. I can’t wait to kick some a$$. PSN ID is Anthony805 invite or lookout for me I will be gunning for all of you!

  • So what kinda power are you packin in that room, can you give us some stats- like what are the benefits of using the PS3’s instead of IBM blades? It would be awesome for sales if this was adopt by other companies (maybe some third parties, it would be funny: 3rd party 360 exclusive using a PS3 server.) Also, are you guys going to be taping into that whole shared processing power thing like “folding@home”? sorry if these are dumb questions but i want to know. But dude that is awesome, its like the weapons rack scene from the matrix only with PS3’s :)

  • WOW me. Thanks for the sneek peek ^^

  • @eclipsed4utoo
    that isn’t what i meant.
    I meant can you play 4-way split screen on the same unit then play with more people on top of that like on a 32-person server.

    that could increase the limit. the did a similar thing on the PSP where the increased the maximum size of the Memory Sticks from 2GB to 4GB

  • @indigovenom

    benefits? cost. while some thing the PS3 is expensive, CELL blade servers are insanely expensive.

  • @jason9

    ok, I understand what you are asking now. and yes, that is available. You can have 4 player split-screen and still play online against other players.

  • Awesome to see Sony using their own console for servers too. Maybe they’ll do this with most of their online first party games. Hell, if third party developers are worried about servers, all Sony has to do is send them a shipment of PS3s to run servers off of.

  • @eclipsed4utoo
    Sweet i can play with my friends wen they come over. I just need to get a fourth controller.

  • That image is so awsome. I wish I could use it as a wallpaper for my PS3. Can’t wait.

  • thnks guy, but besides cost. I mean is this something that other companies could be looking into. is this worth a small portfolio to market to businesses to boost PS3 sales on the side. I mean if this server tech is really dope, and cheaper than blades, then sony could sell dozens of units easily by just having a small marketing capaign targeting large businesses.

  • awesome you guys. I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time. I have a question. Can you tell us the specifications to host your own server with 32 players 24…16 etc(required connections speed for it to run smoothly) for those of us that don’t know anything???? Basically, requirements??

  • Ummm…
    did they just build Skynet?

  • I can’t wait for this game to come out and what your IT staff did is amazing! I wish I knew how to incorporate the PS3 into my work network. I need to learn more about linux ASAP!

  • @SCEA:

    – Can you install the Blu-ray Disc version of Warhawk to your PS3’s HDD so that you can keep another game’s Blu-ray Disc in your PS3 while playing Warhawk?

  • One more question…I want to hook up 4 ps3s and televisions in my house for the release of the game and have 4 people on each television going online for a 1total of 16 for a 16 on 16 match. I have one wireless router running at 3 megs. Is this possible to do this?



    Check out this link:

    A very crafty member named Cruzader made his view of what the PlayStation Store should like look. And sorry to say Sony, his is much better than the current. When you check the link, the whole thread, contact Cruzader and start working on the new PlayStation Store.


    Also, you should start talking with third-parties because you guys are lacking them with demos, heres the multiplatform demos 360 got but we didn’t:

    NASCAR 08
    Juiced 2
    NCAA 08
    All-Star Football 2K8
    Fatal Inernia
    Harry Potter OOTP
    The Bigs
    Stuntman Ignition
    Surfs Up (odd they got it and we didnt seeing as the movie was made at Sony)
    Vampire Rain
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
    Blacksite: Area 51

    I’m gonna stop this seeing as my point was made. You guys said you stopped OPM because you can provide demos on the PlayStation Network. Well, what about the PS2 demos? We can’t even get those anymore thanks to the cancelling of OPM. I mean, I’d understand if no new games come out for PS2 anymore, but there still is. We should of seen demos for:

    God of War II
    Final Fantasy XII
    Shin Megami Tensai: Persona 3
    Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007

    Also, on the PlayStation Network, the ability to change our country would be nice as I have a friend who is moving and he does not want to make a whole new PlayStation Network ID because he needs to change his country. Also, a comment on the taxes on the store. I really think they are kind of stupid, because we can only add amounts of $5.00 to our wallet, so when I added $5.00 about two months ago to buy RAMPAGE: World Tour, it costed me like $5.61 and I didn’t want to add another $5.00 cause’ it was a giftcard.

  • @ Warhawk Dev Team & SCEA

    You’ve done a great job at making a veteran game, a game that will kick any other game consoles ass. (Can I say that?)

    In my opinion, you had such a great idea of using PlayStation 3’s as the official servers. It adds great PR to you as a company.

    As for the FAQ you guys are writing, here are some of my questions, it would be very kind if you could answer at least one.

    1. Q. Will we be able to use more than one headset in a multi-player split-screen? Such as when I have a friend come over can he chat with the other team mates while we are bothing playing.

    2. Q. Since you are releasing a download-able version of the game. What will not be included, besides the fact of the headset?

    3. Q. If you buy the PlayStation Store version do we still qualify if we were one of the best 100 players?

    4. Is there any chance that in a update for the game, you release a higher max. limit for a game of players?

    5. Q. Will you be releasing new maps? If so, will they be free or will we have to buy them from the PlayStation Store?

    –Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

    PSNetwork ID: The-Last-One

  • @StuntF50

    guys like you are ruining this blog. I see you post that same post in every blog. it’s getting ridiculous.

  • seventy-five PS3’s!!! Good God, man. The things I could do… Imagine if all those were able to F@H and be servers. That’d be something, alright!

  • @ indigovenom:

    That’s a great idea. Maybe Sony will look into it or some other business will see that the PS3 can be used as a server and they’ll contact Sony about it and how to set it up. I mean, depending on the price of another server (I don’t exactly know) and if you can get a few PS3s for the same price, I think some companies could be looking to Sony for server setups sometime down the line.

  • cool, cant wait to play this game again!

  • @90, MatthewG. I’ll try answering some:

    1. Not sure.
    2. Trailers for other games, behind the scenes videos.
    3. That was for the BETA not the final version.
    4. Yeah, I think Incognito will release updates, as they did on the BETA.
    5. Expansions including maps and weapons will be available through the Playstation Store throughout 2008. Some should be free, and some should be premium.

  • @ Zaku

    The problem with that is Sony is already losing money making the PS3’s. The only way they’re making a profit is through the Blu-ray games. If companies use the PlayStation 3’s as servers there would be no use to buy games, as then Sony loses even more money.

  • That is a beutiful site. Thanks for posting

    Hey, at what temperature do you keep the AC at in that room ?

  • @ aaquib

    Do you have a links to backup your “facts”? I just want to make sure.

  • @ Dylan Jobe

    When do you think the Warhawk FAQ will be posted?

  • SO that’s what happend to all the 20 gig ps3’s!

    Actually they look like all 60 gig’s with the chrome. Pretty sexy setup.

    So to my question:
    By “world-wide” do you mean there will be one of those server rooms in every state in the US? At least tell me Pennsylvania will have one.

    Now I understand why it costs $40.

  • StuntF50: thats off topic (and a really lame store-mockup too btw) so give it a rest!

  • @ SPARDA

    They said that they keep it at around refrigerator temp. That would be just around 36F°, well that my temp.

    The average temp. is just about 37F° – 40F°

  • Will the UK be getting this game the same time as everybody else on August 28th?

  • @98

    About the updates on the Beta, I don’t have a link, but another beta tester can verify this. Dylan Jobe said on his other post, as well as on, that the bluray version will come with behind the scenes and trailers. About the top 100 players, it’s in Dylan’s other post, and about expansions heres the link:

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