Earlier this week DICE stated that Battlefield 3 played on Xbox 360 without the installed texture pack looks like "standard definition."
“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,” said Battlefield series producer Patrick Bach
“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.”
Today, thanks to reddit users "xxgrplayer", we have evidence of just how "standard" Battlefield 3 will look without the HD pack installed on the Xbox 360. Below we have three screenshots comparing the same scene taken with three different setups running Battlefield 3 -- the PC version, an Xbox 360 with the HD pack installed, and an Xbox 360 without the HD pack installed. Keep in mind, these are compressed as JPG and several factors weren't mentioned like frame rate and resolution. Still, I think these give a pretty decent depiction of how the game will look comparatively.
PC is obviously the winner in a graphics comparison, but we all knew that already. What we didn't know was just how well the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3 with the HD texture pack installed looks in comparison. PC clearly has the lighting edge over the Xbox 360 (no matter the HD texture), but nonetheless, for a machine pushing five years old, DICE has optimized it quite well.
The face alone isn't the best place to look for differences, but when you look at the knuckles and the gun you can see the big differences. First off, the knuckles on the PC version are much smoother. The gun is more clearly defined on PC, though that could be due to lighting as well.
As for the Xbox 360 HD pack vs Xbox 360 non-HD pack, well, you can definitely see the differences. Look at the guys fingers and it's a dead giveaway. It's actually pretty bad looking at it with the HD pack not installed. Right away you can see the railing missing and the difference in the shirt the terrorist looking over his shoulder is wearing in the non-HD version. The gun and hands are so blocky and lacking texture that it draws comparisons to Half-Life 2. Aside from his face, everything else looks pretty bad.
Although several factors could be contributing to the poor quality of the non-HD textured version of Battlefield 3, I assume this is a pretty accurate depiction of what it will look like. Comparatively, the PC version is better than the Xbox 360 HD-pack version, but not enough to make the game un-enjoyable. Actually, with the HD texture pack installed, the Xbox 360 stands up quite well to the the PC version. The non-HD version on the other hand, well, let's just hope everyone can install it.