Battlefield 4’s BattleScreen is next-gen only

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GAIZ! Asosynchrouschromatic gameplay is here to stay! Look how well it worked for Microsoft with that SmartGlass tablet idea! Suck it Nintendo! Yep, the gaming experience of the future is going to be branching out of consoles with the next generation of gaming. And if you happen to be sticking to your current-gen system for Battlefield 4, well then you can forget about experiencing the joy of a second screen feature for that game.

That Battlelog feature will only be available on Playstation 4, PC and Xbox One. Because it’s powered by the full force of the web, BattleScreen will allow gamers to have a mini-map on their laps, which also serves as a way to browse servers, stats and loadouts.

Battlescreen

Speaking to Endgadget, Battlelog assistant producer Jesper Nielsen said that the entire app would be web-based. “Battlelog is powered by the web, and that has a lot of implications,” Nielsen said.

There are a lot of different things you can do, things you can do faster, rather than building stuff in native code.

It’s going to be a lot easier for us to actually update things from the in-game Battlelog than would otherwise be the case. You’d have to do patches normally; here we can actually do things almost by the flick of a finger.

So whatever happened to Battlelog for Battlefield 3? The online facebook for soldiers that would rival Call of Duty Elite? According to Nielsen, you can blame EA’s Origin service for that, as people couldn’t be arsed to remember their passwords thanks to that cluttered online system. So for Battlefield 4, QR codes will be used instead.

“It might sound trivial, but it’s actually making something that might be problematic for people super simple,” Nielsen said. DICE is also looking at ways to add more functions to BattleLog and BattleScreen, something that Nielsen said would be an experimental process:

To be frank, it will stand its real test once we get it out to the players and see how they use it, both when they play and don’t play. That will teach us a lot and help us innovate even more in this field.

We don’t have the answers to all the questions in this space yet, so it’s definitely a bit of an experiment, but we’re very confident with some of the steps we’ve taken to provide a truly meaningful and valuable second-screen experience.

I’m not completely sold on the idea of other game studios getting second screen gameplay right. To be honest, if I’m playing a game of Battlefield, then I don’t have time to glance every couple of seconds at my lap so that I can see what is going on.

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But if I can get more access and details about my games once a match has ended, from the comfort of my couch via a tabelt device, I could dig that.

Battlefield 4 is out in October on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Next-gen versions will be out shortly after those consoles launch.

Last Updated: August 6, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

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