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Battlefield 3: 'The console version looks so much better than anticipated'

DICE executive producer Patrick Bach talks console technology, next-gen and Battlefield's competition...

2011's FPS battle kicked off with a bang when EA and DICE slammed some heavy artillery on the table in the form of Battlefield 3.

Of course it looks beautiful, that's plain for all to see, but executive producer at DICE Patrick Bach tells us that the implications of the studio's latest military shooter go much further than a pretty face.

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As DICE looks to the future, it's building Battlefield 3 with the next-generation in mind to create a game that will fulfil the potential of technology for next five years.

An exciting premise for sure. We spoke Bach about what that means for Battlefield 3, what EA and DICE are expecting to see in the next-generation and how the developer feels it's about to get one over the competition:

Battlefield 3 looks amazing from what we've seen but so far everything's been shown on PC. Is it going to look as good on console?

That's always hard to answer. We need to show pictures of it to make sure that when people see it they can judge for themselves. There are of course technical advantages with the PC. PC: brand new technology; Consoles: five year old technology, so of course there will be differences. Our job is to make sure that the core and the emotion of the game is exactly the same. We're not trying to build a lesser game on console. The interesting part is since we have the stretch goal of creating something amazing on PC, scaling that back to console gives us an advantage because we actually see stuff being run on the console today in Battlefield 3 that looks so much better than we anticipated just because we're aiming so much higher rather than trying to build a console game based on the competition or our latest game. We're building it aiming for the stars. We're seeing some really cool results.

How does the console version compare to something say or Uncharted 3 on console?

I'm not too worried to be honest. I think we will be, if not the best-looking console game this year, up there with the competition. Honestly we're not even trying to compare it, we're just comparing to ourselves right now because if we were to look at other console games I don't think we'd get the quality we are striving for. My goal is of course to prove it rather than talk about it, but I wouldn't worry too much because I think it will look amazing.

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It must be pushing the consoles to the absolute limit...

Yes.

And I think you guys have talked about it being a next-gen experience on current-gen technology...

Yes.

Epic and other developers have been pushing the next-gen experience. Are we on the edge of this generation do you think? Are you guys expecting the next-gen soon?

I don't know what the big corporations are thinking but definitely we are desperate to move on into the next generation. I think Battlefield 3 will look like a next-generation game and all the technology we're building, the whole Frostbite 2 system the animations, everything is trying to aim for a couple of years in the future rather than looking at what we have today.

We are already there; if they were to release a new console tomorrow the engine would scale onto that platform because we have been looking at not only the PC technology today but also speculating what will happen tomorrow when it comes to these things. So everything from streaming technologies, rendering technologies is scalable onto future platforms.

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