For most multiplayer FPS's a 96-player map would be considered pretty big. For PlanetSide 2 and it's continent wide military manoeuvres, it's a vast reduction. It's one being made with a view to better supporting e-sports - reducing the size of the conflict to something more suited to competitive play. SOE have produced a video showcasing the first planned map, Nexus.
From the video's description: "The vast interior areas are an ideal layout for team battle. Beware of ambushes in the frozen canyon, intense infantry action in the ice cave and fierce tank battles in the alpine forest."
This actually strikes me as a good idea. E-sports aside, it'll be nice to have a dedicated arena for those times when you're not looking to engage in the constant ebb and flow of each faction's continental tide. Part of me suspects that this is also a move prompted by PlanetSide 2's upcoming PS4 release - adding in a more familiar multiplayer experience as a way to build up towards the main action. As long as the resulting mode also works as an enjoyable respite, then it's a welcome addition, whatever the reasons.
A release date is yet to be announced for the Nexus update.