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Console versions of Battlefield 3 feature weaker graphics (video)

Console versions of DICE’s first-person shooter (FPS) game, Battlefield 3, won’t look quite as shiny as their PC counterparts.

The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version of the FPS game will be limited to 30 frames per second because of the amount of detail in the game and the number of moving objects on-screen. The games will also only be rendered at 720p resolution instead of higher-definition 1080i and 1080p resolutions. That might upset gamers and end up shooting the game in the foot when compared to competitors like Activision-Blizzard’s Modern Warfare 3.

“We always do 30 fps on consoles, not possible to fit in vehicles, (special effects), scale and all players otherwise,” DICE architect Johan Andersson said on his Twitter account.

One of the hallmarks of the Battlefield series — and also other triple-A FPS titles — is the production quality behind the game. Electronic Arts’ bid to unseat Call of Duty in the multibillion-dollar first-person shooter game business is looking mighty good. The graphics for this game, as shown off in EA’s trailers, look ultra-realistic. They make you feel like you’re really a soldier in the middle of a deadly war. You feel like you’re in a place like Iraq, walking warily through the streets with your brothers in arms. The combat scenes feel gritty and down to earth, not staged Hollywood style as you feel in the Call of Duty games.

But all those trailers were versions of the game run on the PC. If the company can’t compete with console versions of other highly cinematic games like Modern Warfare 3, it might end up losing the battle for the top triple-A console FPS franchise. VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi and I got a chance to play Modern Warfare 3, and it was cruising along just as quickly as its PC counterparts.

EA’s last game, Medal of Honor, also went down this road with a setting in Afghanistan, but that game couldn’t knock Call of Duty Black Ops off its perch. Gamers will likely play both games, but there will be an amusing war of words between the two different fan groups about which game is better. The game still looks quite good, based on some footage of the game being played. But when you’re going up against one of the top FPS game franchises of all time, you can’t really afford to take any chances.


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