The second-screen experience was a major selling point at this year’s E3, with developers of current-gen and next-gen games touting their title’s ability to extend past the console. However, when it comes to second-screen experiences, not all of them are created equal. Some take players deeper into the game, while others are purely cosmetic.
Battlefield 4‘s second-screen experience, for example, is a relatively new creation for endeavor for DICE and is therefore not as deep as something like what Ubisoft is offering with Watch_Dogs. The second-screen experience in Battlefield 4 is different from Watch_Dogs‘ in another key way: it will only be available for next-gen platforms.
Battlelog Assistant Producer Jesper Nielsen confirmed the news to Engadget, saying that the second-screen experience for Battlefield 4, tentatively titled Battlescreen, will only be available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
Nielsen revealed that because Battlescreen is entirely web-based it needed the added power of the next-gen consoles, and the PC, to operate. With Battlescreen, DICE will be able to deliver new Battlelog content much faster than they have in the past.
From a purely functional perspective, however, Battlescreen is nothing more than a stat and loadout browser, but that could soon change. As Nielsen points out, the idea of a second-screen experience was relatively new to the team at DICE.
Only after they get Battlescreen 1.0 out to players will the DICE devs be able to see how to improve the service. How players use Battlescreen while playing Battlefield 4, or even while they are away from their console, will determine how DICE improves the second-screen experience.
One improvement that Nielsen teased is a feature that lets players scan a QR code rather than login to their Origin account with a username and password. He felt (and we agree) that having to login to Origin anytime you want to track stats is a bit of an inconvenience, but it presumably won’t be with this new QR code feature.
With Battlescreen launching only on next-gen consoles and PC, there’s no guarantee the second-screen experience will be available when Battlefield 4 releases for the 360 and PS3 this October. Our guess is that if the second-screen experience will only work with next-gen versions, it likely will launch when those versions do, most likely in November.
What do you think of Battlescreen? Do you think DICE is missing an opportunity by not including Battlescreen for current-gen platforms?
Battlefield 4 releases October 29, 2013 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. PS4 and Xbox One release dates have not been announced.