Battlefield 3 on 360 is 'standard def' without HDD install

Generally speaking, if you own an Xbox 360 with a hard drive, it's smart to install games to cut down on load times. In the case of Battlefield 3,...


Generally speaking, if you own an Xbox 360 with a hard drive, it's smart to install games to cut down on load times. In the case of Battlefield 3, the game's visuals will take a significant hit if you don't install on your 360. A second disc will include HD textures to install, without which the game is "standard-def."

"[The install] does make a difference, yes, absolutely," executive producer Patrick Bach explained to IGN. "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."

Bach says that the texture-specific install isn't really a unique concept, just foreign to the Xbox 360. He compares it to standard install procedures on the PC and PlayStation 3 versions of games. "That's new for Xbox 360, but it's not a new idea for the gaming industry as a whole," he said. "No one has really tried to do it properly, so us doing it will create question marks."

While modern Xbox 360 consoles are generally equipped with sizable hard drives, there are plenty of models with puny 4GB drives--or no hard drives at all. These gamers will have to buy one of Microsoft's pricey proprietary hard drives, or just squint more while playing Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3 releases next week, October 25, for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 20, 2011 8:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Battlefield 3 on 360 is 'standard def' without HDD install.

    Generally speaking, if you own an Xbox 360 with a hard drive, it's smart to install games to cut down on load times. In the case of Battlefield 3,...

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 8:18 AM

      Awesome idea, I wish more 360 games did this and leveraged the HDD this way.


    • reply
      October 20, 2011 8:21 AM

      I don't plan to get it on the 360, but that is a good idea... sucks for people low hard drive space or no drive though.

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 11:44 AM

        yeah i am about maxed out on my 120gb drive. i'll need to start deleting DLC content and XBLA games pretty soon. maybe monday night :(

        • reply
          October 20, 2011 11:58 AM

          Copy the less frequently used stuff to a USB thumbdrive. You can use up to a 16gb thumbdrive.

          • reply
            October 20, 2011 3:29 PM

            You can use drives larger than 16GB. You can even use a USB hard disk. It doesn't matter how large any of these are. 16GB is merely the limit that the formatting application will create for your memory partition. If you have a 32GB thumb drive then the 360 will partition 16GB for 360 use and the rest becomes free, you can repartition and format it for your computer use, for movies to play on your 360 or whatever.

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 8:33 AM

      No word on the size of the install? At least with Rage I knew how much space I needed to clear. Which I guess means I'll be deleting that Rage install soon as B3 shows up.

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 8:41 AM

      That 20gb drive is a bitch :(

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 8:47 AM

        haha same. I've been limping along with the same harddrive since 2006. Third console though, I just have to replace them with arcade units and move the harddrive over...

        • reply
          October 20, 2011 9:45 AM

          You basically get one install and that's it.

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 7:57 PM

        Yup. And I don't see myself getting another one unless I end up picking up one of the kinect bundle or something.

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 9:06 AM

      "Standard-def" is a misnomer here in the piece. That is a reference to SDTV, which means 4:3, 720x480 resolution. So to me, that sounds like FUD in this context, because the term is used for something that's different than what's being discussed. Resolution vs detail level of textures.

      What you are getting is regular textures similar to what most games use. The difference is that if you install, you can run higher detailed textures streamed from the HD.

      The game isn't full HD on Xbox, as it's slightly sub 720p, but it's by no means "standard definition" if played from the DVD.

      It's like when I cringe every time I see advertisers saying stupid stuff like "HD Sunglasses!".

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 9:07 AM

        *Meant to say in the piece and what the dev is trying to simplify things down to. Not just complaining about the reporting, just the general HD vs SD terms that get thrown around in unrelated situations.

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 9:15 AM

        Get your HD Sunglasses for your VIP Phone! Order today and get a free 4D charger free of charge. It is free! 'It is free.. if you order HDeee glasses in the sun..'

        Warning. Sun not included.

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 10:38 AM

        Actually textures do indeed have a resolution, so standard def makes perfect sense as they are stating that the game uses standard-def (lower resolution) textures if you don't install. Standard-def in this context does not mean SDTV.

        • reply
          October 20, 2011 2:41 PM

          There is no such thing as an SD and HD texture.

          • reply
            October 20, 2011 3:03 PM

            There is now

          • reply
            October 20, 2011 3:32 PM

            There are such things as detail textures, however. These are the higher resolution textures that come into view with overlapping maps and at close views to your camera. I am wondering if they are actually trying to say that they made the choice not to load the detail textures if they could not be streamed from a non-present hard disk. It would make sense, and though I would not think the game would look very nice without them, I also wonder how many dumbasses or parents would never notice the absence.

            • reply
              October 20, 2011 6:04 PM

              What did I just say?

              Also they are talking about higher res textures, not detail textures.

              • reply
                October 21, 2011 7:04 AM

                If you think detail textures are not drawn at a higher resolution than others then I don't think I can have a conversation with you about it no matter what you said. What do you think I just said?

                You and I are not the persons this guy is speaking to. "HD" is a word that means "something" to the consumer, which is why he used the term.

        • reply
          October 20, 2011 3:23 PM

          Not really.

      • reply
        October 21, 2011 2:27 AM

        Usually, when talking about glasses or camera filters etc, HD stands for High Density and not High Definition. High Density is a higher grade of glass and more robust and less susceptible to scratches etc.

      • reply
        October 21, 2011 6:31 AM

        There was an old "Peanuts" comic where Lucy skipped rope past Charlie Brown, bragging about her "Hi-Fi Jumprope". Obviously the reference was to High Fidelity sound equipment, which was all hte rage at the time, and just like HD, marketers were using it for stuff that had nothing to do with actual hi-fi. And here we are again, fifty years later, same thing.

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 9:34 AM

      So wait...if I don't install it on my 360, will it look like crap? Alternately, if I do, what will be the big differences?

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 10:00 AM

      That's a clever idea

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 11:46 AM

      pretty cool. glad i have that big drive.

    • reply
      October 20, 2011 1:55 PM

      Have they said how big the install will be? I'm still fucking around with a 20gb hdd and some thumb drives. It's getting to be a real pain trying to last til the next console.

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 2:51 PM

        It's 2 DVDs so don't be surprised if it's in the neighborhood of 12GB.

        • reply
          October 20, 2011 7:47 PM

          Nonono.... You have it wrong unless you want to install ALL of it. It would be wise, but the HD texture pack is on the SECOND disc, along with the multiplayer component (I believe). I think it'll be no larger than 4GB.

    • reply
      October 21, 2011 7:42 AM


Hello, Meet Lola