PC gamers with an adequate rig just need to sit tight and wait for DICE’s next-gen FPS to release. Console gamers who don’t have a gaming rig or in the case of Xbox 360 owners, without hard-drives, will experience a lesser, standard-definition version of Battlefield 3. This means you'll probably want to grab a hard-drive before the game releases. I'm sure for most PC elitist, exchanging high-def for standard-def is like trading a maple salmon dinner for raw fish.

In an interview with GamerZines, Battlefield 3 producer Patick Bach admitted that if you don’t have a hard-drive for your Xbox 360 then you’ll miss out on the high-definition texture pack, saying…
"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."

Savvy gamers will know that this tactic isn’t new by a milestone. The original Xbox used streaming data all the time because every Xbox had a built-in hard-disk drive. In result, it allowed for games like Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 to run on Microsoft’s first-generation console. Valve even used the hard-drive to stream things like textures and model files while the disc ran music or voices.

Of course, the inclusion of an 8gig HDD skyrocketed the cost of production for the Xbox and Microsoft sold them at a loss. For the Xbox 360 they decided to make the console hard-drive optional and in result, not every game was designed to make use of the hard-drive, which not only limited the streaming capabilities but in the case of games like Battlefield 3, it removes the option of having high-def textures.

Unlike other games that simply would have axed the high-def option altogether, DICE wanted to at least give Xbox 360 owners the option to experience some of the higher resolution textures in the game. Bach further stated that…
"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.”

Well, I guess everyone wins, right? Although, to be completely honest: if you don’t have a hard-drive for your Xbox 360 you really should just pass on Battlefield 3. Experiencing the game in standard-def is like looking at The Last Supper through trifocal sunglasses.

Battlefield 3 is set for release on October 25th in North America and October 28th in Europe for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. You can learn more about the game or pre-order for additional bonus content by visiting the Official Website.

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