Battlefield Console Challenge

Published on December 13th, 2011

DICE has admitted that porting and its engine Frostbite 2 to console was “a big challenge”.

In an interview with AMD, DICE Rendering Architect Johan Anderson said that the team “didn’t let the constraints of the consoles limit” what it was trying to achieve with the PC version, adding that the team’s decision to lead on PC “was a refreshing and healthy approach that lead to a great step forward with some really good new tech; tech that we might not have thought of, or dared to develop, if we would have taken a more incremental development approach and focusing primarily on the consoles.

“It was a big challenge to bring up the game and engine on the consoles after that,” continued Anderson. “A lot of low-level optimization and adapting systems to the specific strengths of the platforms to try and keep as much as possible of the gameplay and visuals while both fitting into 30 fps as well as a fixed low memory budget.”

“A key benefit of all the work scaling our tech and systems to work well on the consoles is that much of that also translated to improving the PC minspec and LOW detail mode in the game.”

Battlefield 3 launched in October on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The PC version, which requires a DirectX 11-compatible graphics card, set a new benchmark for in-game visuals. The console versions, however, appeared rather lacking by comparison.

To bring the console versions up to scratch, DICE developed new techniques for texture streaming, including the much talked about HD Texture Pack in the Xbox 360 version.

Back in April, DICE’s Patrick Bach said that the team is “desperate” to move onto the next console-generation. A reveal for the next generation Xbox is rumoured to be slated for next year.

Battlefield 3′s first expansion pack, Back To Karkand, launches today on Xbox 360 and PC following a week-long exclusivity period on PS3.

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