DICE: On Battlefield 4 for Wii U ‘We have to set the limit somewhere’
DICE has been tip-toeing around their reasoning for not making Battlefield 4 for the Wii U. If the Xbox 360 and PS3 can handle the game then why not port it? DICE has provided some new answers in a recent interview.
DICE’s Patrick Bach reveals that the Frostbite engine Battlefield 4 uses isn’t supported on Wii U at the moment saying:
The biggest problem we have right now is we don’t want to back down from what we see as our low spec machines. We right now don’t have support for the Wii U in the Frostbite engine. The reason for that is it takes development time. What should we focus on to create the best possible Battlefield experience? We are now focused on PC and the current-gen platforms, and then there might be other platforms in the future that we can’t talk about.
When he says they don’t want to back down from “low spec machines” that makes it sound like they want to focus on current-gen consoles like the 360/PS3 and not take the time to use the extra horsepower in the Wii U. But then another member of DICE makes us question that theory by blaming the Wii U hardware.
Then DICE’s Tobias Dahl makes an odd statement that makes it seem like the Wii U isn’t powerful enough to run Battlefield 4 which I find perplexing. He says:
We have long experience with scalability. We’ve always been making PC games. But we don’t want to ship different games dependent on the platform. We need to set the limit somewhere, to have the lowest spec for this title.
What does he mean by “set the limit somewhere” and “to have the lowest spec” for the game? The Wii U has double the RAM for games that the 360/PS3 have for everything so I can’t imagine its an issue with memory. It sounds like he’s implying that the Wii U fell under their “lowest spec for this title.”
Perhaps the rumors of the Wii U’s CPU being clocked at 1.24Ghz are true and DICE simply doesn’t want to take the time to work around the architecture of the Wii U’s Power-based processor. Just because the CPU is clocked nearly 2Ghz slower than the Xbox 360’s Xenon processor doesn’t make it inferior.
The Wii U’s CPU is new and entirely different so it can do things at a lower clock speed than the Xenon may be able to do at a higher speed. I’m not an expert in terms of processors but I do know that just because a new CPU is clocked lower doesn’t make it bad and that things like that aren’t that simple.
Patrick Bach implies the Wii U Game Pad may be to blame for the game not hitting the console saying:
We could probably make a Wii U game in theory. But to make the most out of the Wii U, that’s a different game because of the different peripherals. We want to utilise all the power of each console.
I don’t understand how difficult it could be to throw some menus and a map system onto the Game Pad’s screen. Call of Duty figured it out so why not Battlefield?
Finally Bach confirms what we already guessed, that they just aren’t interested in the Wii U right now by saying, “It’s about, where do you put your focus? And the Wii U is not a part of our focus right now.”
Not good things to hear about your console if you’re Nintendo. Bach and Dahl phrase their responses vaguely and confusingly. Are they implying that the console isn’t powerful enough to handle the game? Or is the extra development time that would go towards the controller scaring them away?
Sadly hearing about big multi-platform games not coming to the Wii U appears to be a trend lately. At least Ubisoft is sticking up for the system with Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV.