As has already been reported by this very site, the Xbox360 version of Battlefield 3 will ship on two discs, the second of which will include an optional install of its hi-res texture pack. This will make the game look significantly better than if you were to run the game off the disc.
Now this has caused some gamers grief, particularly those with smaller hard drives, who may have to upgrade to a bigger size to get the most out of the game. As is the tradition with these kind of things, there has been something of a fan backlash on the old internet. To address these complaints and this issue, executive producer Patrick Bach has been speaking out.
Check out the rest of the story after the bump.
First of all, the install of the hi-res pack is optional, very much like the recently released RAGE, which required a whopping 22GB install in order to run without latency issues. As Bach says:
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.
The game will look significantly better with the pack installed, of course.
It does make a difference, yes, absolutely. 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.
So, there you have it. Games are outgrowing the limits of our humble consoles. I, for one, am going to need a bigger hard drive… Especially when my hard drive is only the 20GB model, which I’ve had since launch. Oh, the woes of a hardcore gamer…
That said, I am getting sick of all these memory hogging installs that come with gaming on a console. Even my 120GB PlayStation 3 was having trouble with disc space recently, thanks to all the mandatory installations that come with your basic games. Clearly, we are in the twilight years of the Xbox360/PlayStation 3. The next generation can’t come soon enough.
Meanwhile, the PC gamer laughs, then stops, as they are reminded that they will most probably be buying from Origin. Eugh…
Battlefield 3 is out next week on October 25th, for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.