An interesting rumor reached us today that was fueled by a posting on Digital Battle’s Web site that suggests that “Battlefield 3” is in development for the PC. According to a PDF document that was given to Digital Battle by a tipster that was supposed to only be sent to investors, development is already on the way for “Battlefield 3” for the PC and Mac platforms. According to the rumors, the new “Battlefield 3” will be powered by the Frostbite DX engine and it is slated for release in late 2008.
From what we have been able to gather about this rumor, “Battlefield 3” will be set in a modern day time frame, similar to “Battlefield 2,” with two playable factions being NATO vs. MEC (Middle Eastern Coalition) in urban areas in the Middle East regions. The game is said to feature “ticket-based” game play that will offer 40 players per team. The game reportedly features 8 maps, 24 different weapons, 48 vehicles, and 22 weapons unlocks and is said to feature an on-line ranking and promotion system similar in scope to that of “Battlefield 2142.”
One strange thing that we continue to hear about this information is that “Battlefield 3” will only be available for Windows Vista and the Mac platform, leaving Windows XP gamers out in the cold. It has been suggested that the “DX” that is being floated after the “Frostbite” engine means that it is “DX 10” only; or, it could just mean that it is the “Direct X” version of the engine.
From what we have been able to uncover, it has been suggested that a beta would start in the summer of 2008 for a late fall release of the game. An official announcement is expected, along with a teaser trailer in January 2008. The time table for the official announcement seems plausible, as this would put it in the same time frame as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, so this makes sense to us.
We have attempted to reach out to our EA and DICE contacts without much luck so far to confirm any of these rumors. Our questions continue to be met with a stiff, “No Comment,” which is par for the course when something is leaked on this scale.
Based on everything we have been able to find regarding these rumors, our position is that it likely has some shreds of truth, but when you look at the detailed description of the proposed features and release timeline it is obvious that development could have been in progress for some time. The suggestion that “Battlefield 3” will only support Windows Vista might be a bit premature as the transition time frame does fit, meaning that more gamers are likely to be running Vista in the fall of 2008; but we would not count out DICE building a rendering path for XP users, as well. It would be hard to believe that EA/DICE would leave all of that money on the table as to users who have yet to upgrade to Vista, when the PC gaming market as a whole is much smaller than the console market space.
Only time will tell how accurate any of this information is, but we suspect that if we don’t see an announcement and/or trailer for “Battlefield 3” at CES, it is a safe bet that we will not see “Battlefield 3” before the end of the 2008.
Read the story at Digital Battle here and you be the judge.