PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is already one of the biggest hits of 2017, Here’s everything you can expect from its Xbox One release, which is expected this fall.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was an overnight hit, taking the PC gaming community by storm with its survival-shooter gameplay. After millions of copies sold, the game is now on its way to Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem, with an exclusive Xbox One launch this fall. With the new 4K-ready Xbox One X looming, the game is shaping up to be a major blockbuster for 2017.
But what is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? And why should you care? Here’s everything you can expect from the game’s Xbox One release.
5 tips and tricks for staying alive in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for PC
What is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds?
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (often shortened to Battlegrounds, or PUBG) is a “last-man standing” multiplayer shooter, pitting up to 100 players against one another in an expansive open world. Taking strong influence from “Battle Royale” and arena survival games, players must gather supplies, converge upon a single location and fend off hostile players.
After being dropped in from a cargo plane via parachute, players land in Battlegrounds’ world with no equipment. From there, it’s key to quickly search for weapons, ammunition, attachments and more, while watching out for enemies in the vicinity.
Over time, the playable area will begin to shrink, forcing players to move to increasingly smaller pieces of the map. Ultimately, players will be forced into combat, leading to only a single player remaining at the end of the round.
Variations on this core concept are also available, with support for larger teams of players.
Why is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds so popular?
After its release on PC earlier this year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds managed to gain an unprecedented wave of traction. Attracting millions of players since launch, and with thousands still jumping on daily, the game’s growth doesn’t look to be slowing anytime soon.
So, what exactly sparked its popularity? While it’s impossible to pin success on just a single factor, the game’s appeal mostly comes from the overall cohesion of the package. With previous work on similar titles, Creative Director at Bluehole, Brendan Greene, has applied his experience with the survival genre to deliver an unmatched level of balancing and depth.
While previous survival games offered the same appealing premise, the popularity of the title continues to draw more people. For many, this is their first time experiencing the genre, and the underlying hardcore mechanics are an interesting change of pace from your average multiplayer shooter. At this point, the franchise name alone is able to drive sales, which should also extend to the upcoming Xbox One release.
Will there be differences between the Xbox One and PC versions?
With significantly less flexibility in terms of raw processing power, many have understandably expressed concerns about how the game’s scale will translate to console. However, since the announcement for Xbox One, the studio behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been keen to stress that gameplay should be similar, if not identical on console. Based on early reports, it appears a passable frame rate is being achieved with a little optimization, even when connected to 100-player servers.
Anticto, a small developer based out of Girona, Spain, is currently handling the Xbox One port. Bluehole is still established as the team behind core game development and PC updates, while progress on the Xbox One release is outsourced almost entirely to the Spanish developer. Although having an entirely separate studio raises some concerns, it’s now common in the industry to have multiple teams contributing to a single project.
Greene has also discussed his intentions to maintain periodic patches on Xbox One, as seen on PC. It appears the regular monthly updates should be present, with close to feature parity between the two platforms. Although it’s safe to assume PC will get many updates early, it’s encouraging to see the developer already commit to consistent console support.
When the game officially launches, outside of Xbox Game Preview, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will also take advantage of the Xbox ecosystem. Xbox achievements, Xbox Live multiplayer integration, and the platform’s social elements should all make an appearance in the final product – as expected from any ID@Xbox title. Mention of integration for Microsoft’s Mixer live streaming platform has also been discussed, although no further details have been provided.
How does PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds play with a controller?
One of the biggest challenges when transitioning over to console from PC can be creating a control scheme, with two vastly different input methods used on the platforms. As discussed during an interview between Greene and GameSpot, Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program is lending a hand in porting process to ensure best layout for an Xbox One controller.
We know it’s important to get a really good solid control, especially for a shooter, you need good movement controls and stuff like that. I’m working with these guys (ID@Xbox) and they have the experience with doing it for many other games.
Not only does a gamepad have fewer buttons – converting mouse aiming over to a joystick can define the feel of any shooter. Aim assist is one of the main techniques used to aid stick aiming, by implementing a discreet lock-on for targets. Greene has expressed plans to offer some sort of aim assist, although the specifics are currently undecided.
Will PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds offer cross-platform multiplayer?
With various gaming ecosystems becoming more integrated than ever, the idea of cross-platform multiplayer doesn’t seem too crazy. Especially on Xbox One and Windows 10, where Microsoft is heavily pushing its “Play Anywhere” program, blurring the lines between platforms isn’t entirely out of the question.
Speaking to VG247, the game’s Executive Producer Chang Han Kim expressed the studio’s interest in such a feature, provided it’s implemented correctly:
Cross network play between the PC and the console is definitely something we want to do down the road, and we don’t anticipate we’ll have any technical issues with that.
However, being a hugely competitive title, a stigma still surrounds cross-play and the variation between input methods. Using a mouse provides more precise aiming than a console joystick, and while a handicap can be put in place, this opens a whole new dilemma to consider. While we can’t expect such functionality at launch, the developers are still showing interest in implementing cross-play at a later date.
How will PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds perform on Xbox One?
Up until this point, a majority of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ console marketing has focused on the Xbox One X version of the game. Offering a significant bump in available resources, the game is set to achieve 4K resolution, alongside High Dynamic Range (HDR).
According to Eurogamer, it’s also been revealed that with only a little optimization, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently achieving 30 frames per second (FPS) on the Xbox One X, when handling 100-man servers.
However, with no exclusives on Xbox One X to maintain forward compatibility, the game will also have to run on Xbox One in some capacity. Exactly how well the game will run is yet to be determined, though we may find out more in the months ahead of launch. A resolution at 1080p or below can be expected, and HDR for Xbox One S consoles hasn’t been ruled out.
The PC version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t known for its optimization, so it will be interesting to see how the experience transitions to fixed console hardware. While it’s entirely possible that the game will hit 60 FPS on Xbox One, at this point, 30 FPS at 4K resolution looks more likely. Alternatively, checkerboard rendering may be used to obtain a higher framerate.
When will PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds be available on Xbox One?
Right now, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available exclusively on PC, via Steam’s Early Access program. The Xbox One version of the game is slated for release sometime this year as a “console launch exclusive,” meaning the game will be tied to the platform for its initial debut. However, this doesn’t rule out an expansion to other platforms after release – potentially sometime in 2018.
When the game releases for Xbox One, players will first be able to purchase a version via “Xbox Game Preview,” which provides an in-progress package, close to the final product. As with all games debuted through this program, a free trial will be available.
It’s currently unknown when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be released in Xbox Game Preview, outside of the release window of fall 2017. It would make sense for the game to be released around November when Microsoft’s next flagship console should hit store shelves.
For those looking to play the full release with additional features and polish, you can expect to wait until sometime in 2018, for the official release.
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