Bach: Xboxes without hard drives will get 'standard-def' BF3

DICE producer says hi-res texture pack should be installed for full quality

Battlefield 3 producer Patick Bach has said that the 'optional' hi-res texture pack which comes on the second disc of the Xbox version of the game must be installed to the hard drive to get full graphical quality.

Because there are models of the 360 which do not have hard drives fitted, the texture pack had to be an optional extra, rather than standard as it is on PS3 and PC.

Speaking in an interview with GamerZines, Bach says that 360 owners who do not have a hard drive will be getting what he refers to as a "'standard-def' version" of the game.

"There's nothing magic about it," Bach told the site. "It's the same thing we do for PC and PS3, so there's nothing extra. "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. No one has really tried to do it properly, so us doing it will create question marks.

"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."

Although it's unlikely that Bach means standard definition in a literal sense, he was unequivocal about the installation making a noticeable difference to the visual quality of the game.

"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."

Battlefield 3 is released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 next Friday, 28 October.

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Latest comments (10)

Thomas Luecking6 years ago
I do not see any issues with the fact, that you have to install a game on your console to get better performance... the more data you have on an internal storage device with a higher throughput than your optical disk drive the better will be the performance no matter which generation of consoles we talk about...
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts6 years ago
Sensible solution, seems to me everyone wins?
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
I'm not sure the article says it's an issue.

I suppose, though, some people without hard drives will complain - but then hard drives are hardly prohibitively expensive these days.
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Harrison Smith Studying Games and Graphics Programming, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology6 years ago
Seriously a person who doesn't have a HDD in there xbox by 2011, would be someone who would not care about the high texture pack or the fact that the graphics aren't as good.

Anyways its still technically HD its just not as good.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 6 years ago
@Fran... For the xbox HDDs are still quite expensive!

I can see the reason for the article and statement though. There are a lot of people out there (let's call them general consumers) who won't understand this sort of thing. Hell, the "having to flush memory" thing won't make sense to them either.
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Bryan Robertson Gameplay Programmer, Ubisoft Toronto6 years ago
I expect this will generate oceans of tears.
I don't see what else they can do though, they've picked the best course of action.
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Gregg Bayes-Brown Assistant Editor, Ask the Experts6 years ago
I'll probably just play "standard-def" even though I have a 360 HDD. I haven't got the time to be installing things, not when there are BF n00bs to be schooled.
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology6 years ago
i can understand people been annoyed at the whole "install this extra pack to your harddrive" thing but i think that mircosoft should do a smart thing and have a deal with harddrives so that people buy BF3 for 360 and dont have a harddrive can get one and experience the full game the way DICe intended.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert6 years ago
I really don't see a problem in this. As long as people still have the choice it's all right, isn't it? On PC and PS3 you have to install to get the game running anyway. And like Mr. Smith already posted, the question is, who still has not a HDD for his/her xbox? Mostly casual gamers or family wich aren't the targeting customers on a game like Battlefield.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert6 years ago
Now that the game is released, I have to say that even the newer "arcade" versions of the xbox are capable of the install. The Install is only at 1.5 GB and should work fine on a 4 GB version.
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