DICE on Battlefield 3's Player Count for Consoles and Visuals

by Alex Co, posted on 22 April 2011 / 6,110 Views

If you’ve seen Battlefield 3 and you thought it was pretty, you’re not alone. If you also thought that there’s no way the console versions will look as good, DICE Producer Patrick Bach is here to squash some of those worries away.

 Yes, Bach has said before that the console version will be the best-looking console game this year. But what little differences can we expect from the console version and why?

“Our philosophy is to not to talk about things we cannot prove and this is true also when it comes to the quality of the Xbox 360 version of the game. All of the core game systems (animation, destruction, rendering, audio etc.) are the same on all platforms so there will not be a difference when it comes to the general experience of the game. Some technicalities will of course be different due to larger memory and the graphics cards you can have on the PC. We are trying to push the envelope of FPS games in general and this will be obvious in all versions of the game. Looking back to what quality we achieved with Battlefield Bad Company 2 last year we do know how to make high quality games on all platforms.”

One known difference between the PC and console versions are the player counts. The PC version will offer 64 player battles (the same as BF2), while the consoles will have to make do with 24 players across the playing field. The producer says that they always have to find the “sweet spot” between player count, vehicles, destruction, visual quality, network traffic, and general game quality in all the games they’re building.

“We are focusing on all of the above and have come to the conclusion that 24 players on the console gives us the right balance. We had this number in Battlefield Bad Company 2 and that worked pretty good we think.”

He also says that they have more players compared to other FPS games with the added value of vehicles and destruction that they alone have. Bach further adds that they have seen some games try to do more and not always succeeding since it’s really hard to keep the quality of the experience when you’re just adding more players.

For the full interview, click here.

While Bach might be right, the PC version of Bad Company 2 only had 32 players compared to the console version’s 24. The eight player differential is not that noticeable to be honest, but 64 compared to 24? That’s a major player count difference - one that changes strategy, tactics, teamwork, and pacing among other things.

Do you trust DICE to be able to pull this off? What do you think should be the sweet spot for player counts in FPS games?

In any case, we’ll know once Battlefield 3 ships this coming November for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.


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11 Comments

NightDragon83 (on 25 April 2011)

I think 24 is about right for consoles because it will still give the impression of much larger scale battles than say Halo or COD, while still maintaining the ease of the drop-in / drop-out style of gameplay that has come to define console FPS's. I'll put it this way... imagine trying to play a 64 player battle on XBL/PSN with people constantly dropping in and out of the match and little kids screaming into your ears while you're trying to coordinate with your squadmates. Yeah, not fun at all.


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mchaza (on 24 April 2011)

PC version is where all the fun will be at. More players, More vehicles, More map = more fun and more stuff happening. Vehicle Combat is what BF is all about. Destruction and vehicles is the prefect combination but BFBC2 lacked what BF2 had: jets, more heils, tanks and vehicles on the ground so if the maps are good and it doesn't break there is nothing stopping BF3 from being an classic, other than DLC and CODification. If the CODification is kept to an minimum in BF3 or remains console only then BF3 will be great. Or it will be an failure, because despite following in his fathers footsteps he turned to the side of the hyperactive ADD Kid down the block.


sergiodaly (on 23 April 2011)

24 is not bad... below that is bad... yet BO sold tones with just 12 players... maps will be smaller in the console versions. i think its because consoles cant deal with the PC size maps...


fps_d0minat0r (on 23 April 2011)

lol this is supposed to be a next 'gen game for this gen systems'? guess what? ps3 did 40 players when it launched.


Zkuq (on 23 April 2011)

@usrevenge: I believe DICE has stated it's because console gamers have been happy with the current situtation, ie. console gamers haven't complained about it.


usrevenge (on 23 April 2011)

either A maps will be different B maps will be empty... take your pick. still, why not 32 players on console?


Phoeniks.Wright (on 22 April 2011)

I still don't get why consoles only have 24 players. Would have really appreciated 32 players, 1 extra 4 man squad per team, heavy metal in BC2 could have used those extra players, if not more.


osamanobama (on 22 April 2011)

its odd that he said audio would be the same across all platforms when its so easy to throw in more/higher audio support for the ps3 versions of games because of bluray.


Bl00dSaint (on 22 April 2011)

Course everyone trusts DICE :)


Zkuq (on 22 April 2011)

The sweet spot depends on design - and obviously there's going to be some differences in balancing (a part of design) between the PC version and the console versions. 64 players don't have to be cramped in a level fit for 16 players; map sizes can change, and different map sizes can support different numbers of players.