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Fully Utilizing Next-Gen Console Hardware

DICE's Johan Andersson Talks BF4, Frostbite, Mantle, The Future

Chris: Right. Are you rendering it to a different resolution natively on Xbox versus PlayStation 4?

Johan: Yeah, we’re rendering essentially to a separate render target and then up-sampling that to the native 1080p and then we’re rendering the UI on top of that in 1080p, which actually helps quite a lot because there's a lot of text and small details in the UI on BF.

Chris: Got you. I know that developers took a while before they were really able to utilize PlayStation 3’s architecture. Given the composition of these next-gen consoles is it less challenging for you to fully utilize them and is there a lot of untapped potential still, or are you guys taking advantage of most of that right out of the gate?

Johan: Definitely it was a lot easier this generation and a lot quicker. I think you're going to see that on the games that we and other people launch that they actually are, for launch titles usually so early in the generation, the first title that you have they typically are not great titles, or perhaps the actual games are not that great but they look okay. Here we got off from an extremely good start I think and we've spent a lot of time working on that to make sure that we got to that point, but there is still a lot of things about next-gen consoles that we can specifically optimize and utilize. Things like I mentioned with the async compute or things with how we tweak for the CPUs or what are the exact shaders and settings that we’re using for our graphics rendering. There are still some, quite a lot of untapped potential in the consoles there that we’ll be utilizing for the upcoming games. 

Chris: Okay, cool. I know you mentioned that we were going to start getting to the point where we could talk about performance benefits of Mantle in Battlefield 4. Are we there yet or do we need to keep waiting a little bit longer? 

Johan: (Laughs) Yeah, we’re not there yet.

Chris: Okay.

Johan: It's a lot of work just putting all of the pieces together and performance is the thing you get last there. I don’t want to give any numbers that are not fully representative yet either.

Chris: Sure. 

Johan: Yeah, we’re not there yet.

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