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Battlefield 4: making it look the same on all formats is “coward’s way out,” says DICE

Thursday, 17th October 2013 09:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Battlefield 4 is already being cross-examined across current and next-gen formats by tech fans. It’s a practice executive producer Patrick Bach feels will never go away, but he’s not prepared to settle for format parity just to appease those who feel left out. That’s the “coward’s way out,” he says.

In an interview with OXM, Bach commented on the nature of comparison videos and debate over which versions look best. “It gives me a flashback to Battlefield 3,” he began. “We had that problem even back before the next gen consoles, where we made a game that looked amazing on the PC – the better the PC, the better that game looked – and then you had a game that looked amazing on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it didn’t look as good as on PC, and people kept nagging us about that.

“It was like, you should compare it to other games on the same platform. And people said, ‘OK but still – why doesn’t it look as good as on PC? You don’t care about the consoles.’ Well, we’re pushing your hardware as hard as we can, and I’m quite certain that we’ll get that this summer as well – because we are pushing the PC, we’re pushing the Xbox One and we’re pushing the PS4, and also making sure that the Xbox 360 and PS3 software looks amazing, way better than it did for Battlefield 3.

“People will still bring it up. We’ll still get the comparison videos, where somebody will judge us based on that, rather than comparing us to other games on the platforms. You could take the coward’s way out, and just set the bar at Xbox 360 and PS3, and make it so that all games look the same on all platforms, but that’s not who we are. We want to do our best with the hardware.”

Is this the sort of thing you lose sleep over, or are you not concerned? Let us know below.

In the meantime, DICE has revealed a new update changelog following user feedback during the Battlefield 4 beta. See what’s changing here.

Thanks CyberMarco.

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52 Comments

  1. fengato

    They better make good use of the PS4, or I’ll be greatly displeased. Getting X1 and PS4 – I want the 3rd party stuff to look as good as possible on the stronger of the two platforms.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. undermyrules

    Great read im glad that some developers have courage to say no to whining kids who couldnt accept that thir console is from stone age….That what should every developer thinks…..Make the game maxed on PC and now PS4/XONE and then take that and port it to current gen consoles and optimize it from that(downgrades,,shitty textures and that stuff) im just very pissed when i see shitty console port on the PC when we all now that can be do better.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Dragon

    Looks like we know the answer then. No wonder PS4 version was shown before X1.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. FabioPal

    @1 Get ready to be disappointed.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Legendaryboss

    @4
    Prepare 4 disappointment is what you should say.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. FabioPal

    Why should I be disappointed?

    #6 10 months ago
  7. AmiralPatate

    @5
    I see what you did there.
    But I guess before complaining about graphics, people should complain about gameplay.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. FabioPal

    @5 :)

    BTW, played the beta, awesome game, pre-ordered!

    #8 10 months ago
  9. monkeygourmet

    Given the the PS4 is 40% more powerful, there should be no excuses for it not to look better on Sony’s system if this is indeed their attitude to next gen development.

    What it actuially means is:

    360 & PS3 will look shit
    Xbone & PS4 will look the same
    PC will be God tier

    #9 10 months ago
  10. FabioPal

    “Given the the PS4 is 40% more powerful, there should be no excuses for it not to look better on Sony’s system”

    Sir, you clearly don’t know anything about game development, I’m sorry, and, no, I’m not trying to mock you :)

    And, just as a note, the “40%” was measured… how exactly? Don’t take a random number on the internet as a fact ;)

    #10 10 months ago
  11. Reddpayn

    Ps4′s hd7870 compared to ones hd7790 and ps4′ ddr5 ram are not a random facts

    #11 10 months ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    @10

    I know as much about game development as the Sony fanboys and inside dev’s that Edge interviewed do when they created that magic number.

    I know it’s complete bullshit.

    Im half expecting Xbone games to run smoother and look better for a while, Sony fans can then say their game has been ‘gimped’ because of the lowest common denominator. It’s actually already happening on some forums, BF4 being a good example even though the Xbone build is being used for Eurogamer tourney play and the PS4 version is still awol.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. FabioPal

    @11 Actually it is a random number.

    You cannot compare two systems out of their graphics card and memory. Especially when they’re surrounded by modified and dedicated hardware.
    And two completely different operative systems and APIs.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Dunno

    Finally DICE has grown some balls at least

    #14 10 months ago
  15. AmiralPatate

    @11
    GDDR5 is not DDR5. DDR5 does not exist.

    What matters in the end are the games. You don’t buy a console because it’s more powerful, you buy it because you want to play one particular game. Because if power really matters that much, you need a PC.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. Game Hunter

    I’ll try to play this on PC,but have no problem with playing it on my 360.it might not be great,but still it’ll be good.Crysis 3 was amazing on consoles imo,so I think this one will be great too.I don’t have high expectations for graphics, story is all that matters to me.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. Erthazus

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/08/23/gamescom-battlefield-4s-graphics-lacking-on-ps4

    PS4 version is already crap.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. zersus

    @15

    I don’t buy a console because it’s more powerful? Of-ducking-cause I do!
    This AND the games. I’m not willing spending a lot of money on a weaker hardware.

    Back to topic. It pisses me so hard of that BF4 looks on the PS4 the same as on Xbone that I’m NOT going to buy it. I repeat myself, I’m NOT going to buy BF4, because the laziness and lobbyists of EA pisses me of! I will spend my money on Sony products for bringing the quality and vision quality to the PS4. This is not only about BF4. This is about every developer who is doing equal conditions on multiplatform console games even if one system is more powerful then the other.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Moonwalker1982

    I played it on PS4 Erthazus and the graphics were indeed nothing to write home about. One journalist said this to the developer and he stressed that this was far from a finished version and that all the sharp textures, special effects, lighting AND higher resolution would be in the final version. So I assume X1 too.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. AmiralPatate

    @18
    So if you’re a Forza or Halo fan, you’ll buy a PS4 because it’s allegedly more powerful. Right…

    #20 10 months ago
  21. monkeygourmet

    @18

    Because that always happened with the 360 / PS3? Did you play Skyrim on Ps3?

    If anything, this will just show the PS4 isn’t as easy to develop for / as powerful as Cerny lead people to believe.

    I suppose you can always say: wait for Naughty Dog etc… etc… But thats a loooooong way away and first party Xbone titles im sure will look okay by then too.

    The PS4 was supposed to piss all over the Xbone, newsflash: It isn’t happening.

    #21 10 months ago
  22. Panthro

    I thought console gamers werent meant to care about graphics and it was PC gamers who tickle our nuts at the sight of a high res shadow.

    Seems like the coming of the next gen console has changed a lot of people.

    @21

    Im pretty much unbias towards either console, I dont care much for the hardware or the company who created them but… you cant really judge the PS4 from one development team, after all… it is still a cross gen game and they are making it for 5 different systems at once, they probably have a lot on their plate to keep all versions of the game up to par with each other at every waking moment.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. zersus

    The deference between PS3 and xbox360 wasn’t that big as it is now.
    And I was already was a little upset in the current gen :).

    No one is Halo fan. Colored space power ranger shooter? No thank you, how can some one like this?
    Forza? May be, but Sony still have GT. I never owned a car racer to be honest. Skyrim was a bug fiasco on ps3, true.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. monkeygourmet

    @22

    For me it all boils down to companies ‘over egging’ their product, then fans run with it.

    Sony are particularly annoying with this IMO, and Sony fans are equally annoying because they lap it up. PS3′s touted power and features never made any difference to the end product IMO.

    Sony have fixed alot of things for the PS4 launch, but I fear they have fallen into there old trap somewhat: 8Gb GDDR5, most powerful console, made by gamers for gamers etc.. etc… What has actually been shown does not make me think it has anything over Xbone though.

    In fact, after the easy E3 victory, I feel it’s stalled abit and MS is rapidly making ground when it comes to ACTUALLY showing titles running on software and updating users on their progress.

    Sony have been quiet for most part. That makes me slightly suspicious given them over promising in the past.

    Obviously, if Sony have everything fine and up and running, I take it back, but seeing games like Drive Club potentially slip doesn’t fill me with confidence.

    To balance things, MS has talked an equal amount of bullshit about the cloud. But, as it stands, that doesn’t effect the launch games of either system so that is all I have to go on when comparing the 2 devices.

    #24 10 months ago
  25. zersus

    @24 what is IMO?

    Of course Sony has become quite, they don’t need to make failures undo like Microsoft. And believe it or not, I’m a PlayStation fan, but I still want Microsoft to be successful, so Sony don’t get to cocky ;). Both must push the other to more achievement. I wish Nintendo would still be a player in this competition.

    #25 10 months ago
  26. Panthro

    ^ ‘In My Opinion’

    #26 10 months ago
  27. freedoms_stain

    Is this an admission that they took the cowards way out for the update and bugfix schedule for the PC version of BF3?

    #27 10 months ago
  28. monkeygourmet

    @26

    Thanks! :)

    @25

    I understand that MS has had a fair bit of backtracking to do, but recently, I’ve been pleased they are demoing peripherals, the UI and other features aswell as Kinect 2. There has been a fair amount of game footage too.

    All im saying is im seeing more activity from them and game demo’s on actual hardware than I have with Sony.

    And, I expected the oppisite as people make out the Ms has rushed the Xbone hardware and Sony were much more settled. I can’t see any evidence for that at the moment.

    #28 10 months ago
  29. raftos

    Just came here to say that the ps4 will cost US$ 1851,00 in Brazil. Thank You, Sony!

    #29 10 months ago
  30. Panthro

    @29

    Yeah, you have already mentioned that on other threads your point is?

    You can always import from another country…

    + blame your government, they have probably tried to rape SONY with taxes and import rates or whatever they charge…

    #30 10 months ago
  31. raftos

    @30 No, it’s Sony’s fault.

    Xbone will cost US$1100, with TAXES!

    #31 10 months ago
  32. Panthro

    All you Brazilians better get enjoying your xbox’s then…

    MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    #32 10 months ago
  33. DrDamn

    @28
    We are about to hit an avalanche of info from both camps, the fact MS has put out a couple of videos in the last few days isn’t really an indication of much.

    There has been a fair amount of game footage from both (directly or indirectly) not sure what your point is?

    “game demo’s on actual hardware than I have with Sony”

    Both have been using dev kits for trade shows, both have boxes rolling off production lines.

    Wait and see what is delivered, make a judgement on that. From what I’ve seen the Sony first party stuff has got better and better with each showing (KZ:SF a great example of this) and is hitting 1080p across the board (The only exception confirmed being The Order for “cinematic” reasons).

    #33 10 months ago
  34. nollie4545

    Will you thick fan bois get this into your thick skulls:

    THE TYPE OF RAM WILL MAKE NO DIFFERENCE ON THE VISUAL FIDELITY OR FRAME RATE OF THE GAME!!!!

    7870 vs 7790. WHOOP DE DOO!!! NEITHER CONSOLE HAS EITHER OF THESE>>> You WILL HAVE something resembling these cards ON DIE. AN APPENDAGE STUCK to the CPU. The piece of silicon you buy will be WEAKER than either of these discrete GPUs.

    You will not be running this game at 1080p with x4 MSAA and getting 60fps.

    The end!!

    #34 10 months ago
  35. DrDamn

    @34
    “The piece of silicon you buy will be WEAKER than either of these discrete GPUs.”

    Why?

    #35 10 months ago
  36. stretch215

    @15+1 “…if power really matters that much, you need a PC.” says it all….+1000. If you don’t want to splurge for both consoles, grab the one with the exclusives that interest you the most. If you’re a graphics whore playing on console…..you’re doing it wrong

    #36 10 months ago
  37. monkeygourmet

    @DrDamn

    “not sure what your point is?”

    Im just seeing more things running on Xbone hardware at the moment. BF4 on Xbone is being used for streamed tournies, the UI is being demoed, peripherals are being explained etc…

    I just feel, things are a bit quiet on the Sony front (obviously they had Vita TV to show) thats all.

    I just can’t help feeling they are slightly struggling to pull all the pieces together.

    To be fair, it’s fucking nails to try and launch a console! :)

    #37 10 months ago
  38. DrDamn

    @37
    I think you are just thinking too recently. There were PS4 UI demos well before this week. There is a KZ:SF information blow out on GTTV tonight. There have been tonnes of discussions with the creators vids on the PS Blog. Just because there have been a couple of vids now from MS and an announcement about BF4 that doesn’t mean much. It’s 4-6 weeks until launch. There is going to be loads from both sides.

    #38 10 months ago
  39. super3001

    33

    latest kz video is all tearing not coming along nicely

    “cinematic reasons” = 100% bullshit and everyone knows it. latest videos show low res textures and static objects. it hitting performance problems end of.

    edit … my bad is deep down not order is dev problems. cinematic is still bullshit reason

    #39 10 months ago
  40. DrDamn

    @39
    Is English your first language?

    #40 10 months ago
  41. monkeygourmet

    @38

    I look forward to the Killzone blowout later!

    Im really on the fence here. My GF is getting an Xbone, and I can either finish my PC off (just need GPU), or get a PS4…

    #41 10 months ago
  42. DrDamn

    @MG
    You’ve got all the other bits for the PC? Get the GPU then you crazy fool! ;)

    #42 10 months ago
  43. KineticCalvaria

    @41, no brainer dude, get the GPU.

    #43 10 months ago
  44. Panthro

    @36

    I play PC and I’m not a graphics whore, most of the games I play are from independent developers and are usually not anything special to look at. I only turn them settings up high in those good looking games because the rig I paid for can handle it, Who wants to play a game on low settings when you have a choice not to?

    @41

    Get that GPU, treat yourself to something nice ;)

    #44 10 months ago
  45. Keivz

    @35
    The GPU’s in the XO/PS4 will both have 2 fewer CU than their purported counterparts, the 7790 and the 7870, and will have a lower clock rate to boot.

    #45 10 months ago
  46. Panthro

    It shouldn’t be news the GPU’s in the X1 and PS4 arent going to be anything special.

    It all comes down to what the game developers create for them that gets my attention, I’m never going to pre-order a console again until I have a good insight to what games are coming out and how good the support is from developers, I’m going to wait a year to a year in a half until I make my judgement, I am in no rush.

    #46 10 months ago
  47. monkeygourmet

    @42, 43, 44

    Yeah, I almost certainly will, Something about unboxing a new console though! ;)

    #47 10 months ago
  48. nollie4545

    IF these integrated on die GPUs were so efficient and bad ass yadda yadda yadda, then they would ALREADY BE IN THE PC WORLD. This is not new technology.

    Fact of the matter is that it is a cheapskate option compared to buying in tech from either Intel or Nvidia both of whom would command steep prices for their silicon.

    I don’t know where these nutter comments like ‘its coded to the metal…’ type crap come from, there is still an operating system in a console which operates the thing and runs the games, how else would the HDD and DVD ROM talk to the CPU and GPU otherwise?

    #48 10 months ago
  49. DrDamn

    @45
    Yeah most comparisons I’ve seen previously have used a 7850 for the PS4 which is a little less powerful numbers wise (than the PS4 GPU). I was more interested in what “ON DIE. AN APPENDAGE STUCK to the CPU.” had to do with it.

    #49 10 months ago
  50. lookingglass

    Arguing console graphics is like arguing who’s sports car is the fastest, while the PC fighter jet breaks Mach 2 overhead.

    #50 10 months ago
  51. DSB

    Wake me up when DICE starts pushing the gameplay.

    I mean sure, I like being able to use as much of my hardware as possible, but I think it’s obvious that DICEs heavy focus on the tech means they lose out in other places.

    It’s a bit like Crysis. It was great as long as you were just watching the scenery and blowing stuff up, but the game hidden behind all of that noise? Not great.

    #51 10 months ago
  52. runbmp

    I kind of disconnected with BF Bad Company. The optimizations were just not there and the game didn’t feel fluid at all… It actually looked bad in the process too.

    BF3 on the other hand was a complete turn around for them. I was proud for the BF brand and excellent work the team had done. It was nice to see Dice put out something out that feels solid in graphic fidelity and control fluidity.

    I hope that same tradition follows in BF4 and I confident Dice will do quite well.

    Crysis 1 was an amazing experience at least for me, I remember running it with my first crossfire setup back then ( Radeons 5870s ) and to this day I haven’t quite experienced anything quite like it. However I think for its time when it was first released it was clearly a misunderstood title.

    I think if people played it today on an average card they would truly enjoy it. Not necessarily from an eye candy stand point ( which it does quite well, in physics too ), but the engine ran really well once the hardware requirements were met.

    I would buy the Dice team a round of beers for BF3 if I ever met them in real life ;-)

    #52 9 months ago

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