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October 4, 2011

Battlefield 3 Beta: Console vs PC

With the recent release of Bat­tle­field 3 Beta I’ve noticed there has been a sig­nif­i­cant amount of com­mo­tion amongst the com­mu­ni­ty, espe­cial­ly the con­sole play­ers about why the graph­ics don’t look as good as they did in the video.  I’ve also heard numer­ous com­plaints about the PC ver­sion hav­ing mul­ti­ple maps for the beta and being able to host more play­ers. 
Let me start off by say­ing that Bat­tle­field 3 was devel­oped with PC gamers in mind.  The game was devel­oped for the PC first and con­soles sec­ond and it shows with­in the game.  It’s designed to push the lim­its of graph­ics tech­nol­o­gy and even my video card is start­ing to show signs of stress with every­thing maxed to the top.  I sus­pect the retail release will be even more pun­ish­ing then the beta.   I took the time yes­ter­day to play with my Xbox brethren on XBL and the dif­fer­ences between the PC ver­sion and the con­soles ver­sions are immense.  The obvi­ous dif­fer­ences are the max play­ers.  The max play­ers on con­sole are 24 vs 32(in the beta)  — 64(final release).  The sec­ond major dif­fer­ence is how much clean­er the game looks on PC as a whole vs the con­sole ver­sion.  If I could find a good com­par­i­son it would be like look­ing at a used VHS copy of the orig­i­nal Star Wars and then watch­ing it on blu-ray.  It’s real­ly that much clear­er, crisper and clean­er.  The tree’s look much more focused and alive, weapons fire looks mean­er, tex­tures look five times bet­ter on the PC vs the con­sole, sol­diers look more real­is­tic,  and the weapons look bet­ter.  The lack of AA/AF, HBAO and oth­er graph­i­cal enhance­ments on con­soles are what kills it graph­i­cal­ly.
I’m sure there are many gamers that are out­raged that the con­sole ver­sion of the game doesn’t match the pic­tures.  There are some after read­ing the first part of this who are even more upset that the PC ver­sion looks so much bet­ter than there ver­sion.  This is the first game, in a long time, that has real­ly show the now very wide gap between cur­rent PC hard­ware and Con­sole hard­ware.  ID devel­op­er John Car­ma­ck said at Game­con this year that “the PC plat­form is as much as 10 times faster than the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of con­soles”.  Graph­ics tech­nol­o­gy has come leaps and bounds since the release of Xbox and PS3 next gen con­soles.  The graph­ics tech­nol­o­gy was almost 2 years old at the time of the release of the Xbox 360 and that was 7 years ago.  Grant­ed PC’s also have to deal with oth­er process­es while the con­sole sys­tems ONLY have to wor­ry about play­ing the games so they make up some of the dif­fer­ence there but not near enough to com­pete. 
Does this mean the con­sole ver­sion is going to look ter­ri­ble when it’s release on Octo­ber 25?  Take a deep breath… ok bet­ter now?  Let’s remem­ber that this is a Beta and even the almighty PC ver­sion has a mag­nif­i­cent amount of graph­i­cal glitch­es to deal with along with oth­er issues such as clip­ping, zoom not work­ing, falling through the map, fly­ing across the map, get­ting stuck in walls, and many oth­er issues.  The con­sole ver­sion will look good but not as good as the PC ver­sion will, it’s that sim­ple.  Con­sole hard­ware just can’t han­dle the demand that the game would put on it not to men­tion that con­soles can­not dis­play DX10 or DX11. 
The con­sole ver­sion does play well, very well actu­al­ly on the con­sole (I played it on the Xbox 360).  I think it’s the best play­ing of the bat­tle­field series and I have played them all.  DICE is play­ing a tricky game here.  They are try­ing to cater to their orig­i­nal audi­ence (pc gamers) while try­ing to keep their con­sole fan base hap­py as well and try­ing to make EA mon­ey at the same time. 
I ask peo­ple to remain calm when play­ing the beta and real­ize that it’s just a beta.  The final prod­uct WILL look bet­ter, on both sys­tems at that.  The ver­sion of the game we are play­ing now was already sev­er­al months old.  Keep that in mind when play­ing.  The final ver­sion of Bat­tle­field 3 will be released on Octo­ber 25 for PC, Xbox and PS3.


  1. Raama - October 5, 2011 4:26 pm

    Alto juego, pero pide mucha plac de video!

  2. Pingback: battlefield 3 beta release | Hi res Wallpapers - High resolution wallpaper

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