You've probably heard that the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3 will include an optional high-resolution texture pack installation that is intended to boost the visual fidelity of the game. This is something new for the Microsoft console, and something that DICE recommends players take advantage of if they've got a 360 hard drive.
"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," DICE's Patrick Bach told GamerZines. "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."
The texture pack allows the game's Frostbite engine to more easily stream the game's high-end visuals into and out of the console's memory. Bach didn't say how large the installation would be, but "sizable" seems like a safe bet. This is a new approach to take for an Xbox 360 release; Microsoft doesn't allow developers to require the use of a hard drive, but this texture pack skirts around the issue by apparently offering a less-than-complete experience (visually speaking) without the installation.
Those who take the time to install the pack can expect a significantly improved experience. "It does make a difference, yes, absolutely," Bach said. "The whole engine is based around streaming textures, streaming terrain and a lot of other content."