Split screen (computer graphics)

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Split screen is a display technique in computer graphics that consists of dividing graphics and/or text into non-movable adjacent parts, typically two or four rectangular areas. This is done in order to allow the simultaneous presentation of (usually) related graphical and textual information on a computer display. Split screen differs from windowing systems in that the latter allows overlapping and freely movable parts of the screen (the "windows") to present related as well as unrelated application data to the user, while the former more strictly conforms to the description given in the above paragraph.

The split screen technique can also be used to run two aspects of an application, with possibly another user interacting with the other perspective.

In video games[edit | edit source]

Split screen feature is commonly used in non-networked video games with multiplayer options.

In its most easily-understood form, a split screen for a two-player video game is an audiovisual output device (usually a standard television for video game consoles) where the display has been divided into two equally-sized areas so that the players can explore different areas simultaneously without being close to each other. This has historically been particularly popular on consoles, which until the 2000s did not have access to the Internet or any other network.