You might want to make some room on your 360 hard drive to install the game next Tuesday.
Xbox 360 owners are free to install any game they choose to their Xbox 360 hard drive. This can reduce load times and eliminate the obnoxious noises that emanate from the system's disc drive. Unlike PlayStation 3, mandatory installations aren't something that's commonly seen on Xbox 360. While Battlefield 3 only presents installation as an option, it does make a difference -- and it's something you'll definitely want to do if you can afford the space.
Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach explained to GamerZines that installing the game essentially "gives you the same abilities, kind of, as the PC and PS3. You can actually stream information from the hard drive."
"That's new for Xbox 360, but it's not a new idea for the gaming industry as a whole," he said of the reaction to the news that a high-resolution texture installation would be available for BF3 on 360. "No one has really tried to do it properly, so us doing it will create question marks."
Asked if installing really makes much of a difference, he said, "It does make a difference, yes, absolutely. The whole engine is based around streaming textures, streaming terrain and a lot of other content.
"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."
Presumably he means the game won't look nearly as good as when it has been installed and not that it will be akin to a game from the standard-definition era. In any case, we'll probably have to wait until it's out to see this for ourselves -- EA isn't going to be keen to show off the game at its worst.
He didn't know (or wouldn't share) the amount of space this installation will require.
Bach clarified that the Frostbite 2 engine DICE developed (and is being used in fellow EA game Need for Speed: The Run) doesn't require that streaming technology but "it has the ability to create a more detailed experience."
"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."
Battlefield 3 for Xbox 360 ships on two discs and is due out on October 25, the same day PlayStation 3 and PC gamers will get their hands on it. Those who opt for the PS3 version will be faced with a mandatory install but get early access to all expansion packs released for the game.