Are These Next-Gen Launch Games?
Is the next-gen all but confirmed?
Internet rumours suggest that we could see a new Xbox as soon as 2013. Announcements of new consoles could soon be the talk of industry, but as we look ahead to the capabilities of these unknown machines, there are a handful of games clearly pointing the way forward right now. Everything from Metro: Last Light, GTA V, Rainbow Six: Patriots and a few others, are showing that the current hardware is increasingly becoming obsolete.
Even Battlefield 3 is proving in the here and now what future games could look like – on PC at least. With so many games pushing what’s currently capable on consoles will some games edge over to become next-gen launch games?
DICE is adamant the concessions made between the console and PC versions of Battleﬁeld 3 do nothing to detract from the experience, but there’s little doubt that, on the 360, it’s a lesser experience. This is frustrating, because DICE has developed a game so clearly pointing to the future. The Frostbite 2 Engine includes some of the superior technology that might become standard as soon as console tech catches up.
That it pushes beyond what the Xbox 360 is capable of draws a line under the arguments regarding the next generation. It is needed, it is coming and at some point in the near future, we will be hearing about it. It’s just a shame that Battleﬁeld 3 is so obviously a very different experience on PC. Should we expect more games to grow beyond what current consoles are able to handle until next-gen?
With the PC version of Battleﬁ eld 3 pushing the visual envelope and creating an experience that is almost comparable to reality, are we getting a sneak peak at what games might look like on future consoles? “I know some console players have been disappointed, somehow,” explains Battleﬁeld 3’s producer, Patrick Lui. “The most tangible difference is the number of players, but it’s really about the limitations we have on the hardware.”
Lui might be convinced that the current consoles are only marginally losing ground to the PC, but in reality there’s a huge disparity between the technologies. “We need to compare with other games on that platform,” continues Lui, “The PC is ﬁve or six years ahead of consoles now.”
An obvious difference that highlights just how far PC tech can be pushed and, potentially, what we can expect from future consoles. That the Xbox 360 version, like RAGE, requires a hard drive installation to achieve high-deﬁnition visuals throughout its campaign shows yet another concession to the limitations of the current console. DICE has always pushed what its Frostbite engine is capable of, and with Battleﬁeld 3, it outpaced itself beyond the capabilities of consoles.
With other studios, such as Crytek and Epic, utilising their engines and current technology to achieve the best results on the Xbox 360, we now have a benchmark for future consoles. But, with the disparity as great as what we have with Battleﬁ eld 3, should DICE have put more thought into the Xbox 360 version of its favourite series?