In a nutshell: Bethesda has given gamers a compelling reason to own an oversized 4K television. The remastered version of Quake II, which launched earlier this week during the annual QuakeCon convention, includes support for eight-way local multiplayer split screen gameplay on Xbox Series and PC.
Four-way local multiplayer is crazy enough (I'm looking at you, GoldenEye 007), but double that? I can't even imagine.
As chaotic and fun as that sounds like on paper, it won't be all that practical in the real world for a number of reasons.
With an average size television of around 55 inches, you are looking at windows of about 18.33 inches each (excluding the two bigger top windows and assuming a 3 x 3 grid, which we will get to in a bit). Even with a hulking TV like Samsung's 98-inch monster, each window would only be around 32.67 inches diagonally (double check my math because this certainly is not my strong suit).
Assuming you've got a TV large enough for everyone to play comfortably, you now have to round up seven local pals that are also into Quake II. That would be a struggle even as a kid with all my neighborhood friends, and I most certainly don't have that many nearby gaming buddies nowadays.
There is also the uneven window split to contend with. In eight-way mode, Quake II awards two players with larger windows than everyone else. Rock, paper, scissors decides who gets the wider windows, I guess? Or maybe, I'm older than you, so deal with it? And what about rampant screen cheating?
All things considered, I am glad the feature exists. In those certain rare circumstances where everything comes together, eight-way local multiplayer on a single screen could be an absolute blast. Just don't expect to use it all that often.
Interested parties can pick up the remaster on their platform of choice for $9.99 and if you already own it on PC, you can get the update as a free patch.