DICE is offering Xbox 360 gamers that choose not to install the optional high resolution texture pack that will be included with the installation package on the second disc of Battlefield 3, they’ll be getting a version that is considered “Standard Definition” by DICE. In a recent interview, Patrick Bach explains why the developer had to offer the option install for 360 gamers.
Executive producer Patrick Bach told Gamerzines that the reason for the hi-res texture package is to offer as much content as possible on five-year old console hardware. He explained the difficulties of the Xbox 360 hardware and its texture pack workaround, noting that it does make a noticeable difference to the game.
“The thing with the 360 is that you need to be able to give consumers a game where you don’t have to install it on a hard drive, because there are 360s without a hard drive. So we need to give you the option of installing it, rather than just demanding it. You could call it a ‘standard-def’ version for the 360 if you don’t have a hard-drive.
“I think the controversy about this is that we actually let you do it on 360 for once. So what it does is it gives you the same abilities, kind of, as the PC and PS3. You can actually stream information from the hard drive. That’s new for Xbox 360, but it’s not a new idea for the gaming industry as a whole.”
While Bach’s use of the term standard definition should not be taken in the literal sense – the game will still run at high definition resolutions, it’s only the texture quality that is reduced – he was clear that it makes a significant difference to the visual quality of the game.
“It does make a difference, yes, absolutely,” said Bach.
“The whole engine is based around streaming textures, streaming terrain and a lot of other content. It’s not the engine that demands it, but that it has the ability to create a more detailed experience. We can’t use more memory of the actual machine itself, we need to flush that memory with new information depending on where you are in the game.
“What we let you do is let you have high-res information that gets streamed in and out of memory at all times, and that gives you a more detailed, varied and vivid experience on all platforms. We don’t want to take that away from 360 players.
“We’re really trying to push the limits of what we can do on the consoles and the PC. Our goal is to see how we can utilise as many of the systems that you actually have in your machine that some people haven’t utilised before. Some (developers) just do it like, if it doesn’t fit into memory we just make a lesser game. We don’t do that. For us, it’s about how we can give you the most game ever even though the hardware is over five years old.”
Battlefield 3 will be out on October 28 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC