How Battlefield 4's exclusive Battlescreen map will work out for the next generation

By Prarthito Maity , Updated Aug 12, 2013 11:19 AM EDT
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It was not long ago when EA, alongside the massively popular Battlefield 3, introduced its then new 'Battlelog' feature. While this was a brand new approach to the way we play multiplayer for FPS titles, the hidden factor was meant to introduce a multiplayer world that would challenge Activision's in-game social network, 'Call of Duty Elite.' However, with an all-new Battlefield 4 from EA just around the corner, the company decided to step-up its efforts to offer a more revamped and revolutionized Battlelog feature that would complement the upcoming game.

Since this year's E3, a number of new Battlelog features were shown off as glimpses of what's still to come, with the company's first big Battlelog marketing video released (see below). That only increased our enthusiasm to know more about the features and what else EA's DICE studio still had hidden.

Recently, Engadget spoke to Battlelog assistant producer Jesper Nielsen, seen in the video, who openly discussed Battlelog's trajectory since its launch in late 2011: "When we set out to build this [Battlelog in Battlefield 4], our biggest goal from the start was really to bring a better Battlelog to the console players."

"In Battlefield 3, PC players launched the game from a Battlelog portal on the web; that led to much higher engagement numbers on PC (despite initial resent from longtime PC loyalists). Battlelog's Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 experience was...lacking. It didn't feature the server browser functionality that the PC version did, nor was it even functional for the first few weeks of the game's life post-launch," the report added.

While there is a big difference as to how Battlefield 4 launches on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 (not similar to PC where it launches from a Battlelog portal), it does hold a similarity with the PC version of the game with the introduction of Battlescreen. For those who are not aware, Battlescreen is the tablet/web interactive mini map that's set to arrive alongside the game.

However, the reason why the feature won't make it to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and only on next-gen consoles and PC is because of Battlelog's new platform base on next-gen and PC via the web. "Battlelog is powered by the web, and that has a lot of implications. There are a lot of different things you can do, things you can do faster, rather than building stuff in native code," Nielsen told Engadget.

"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."

It was revealed that there was a certain ease of use for the Battlelog on the console and that "EA's required Origin login was too cumbersome a barrier for many players to overcome." Nielsen stated: "At some point, maybe half a year before, they connected their Origin account to this email address and now they forgot what it is. And they tried, they can't remember it, so they give up. It might sound trivial, but it's actually making something that might be problematic for people super simple."

While currently the second-screen functionality in Battlelog is limited to Battlescreen (the mini map), stats, load outs, and server browsing, Nielsen confirmed that DICE is still experimenting with other ideas.

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