Johan Andersson, rendering architect at Battlefield developer DICE, has warned that users will need to ensure they are running a 64-bit operating system for future versions of the Frostbite engine.
While not directly naming the Battlefield series, Andersson took to microblogging service Twitter
earlier this week to declare 64-bit a requirement for his company's future games.
'We'll have Frostbite-powered games in 2013 that will require a 64-bit OS,
' Andersson told his followers (his emphasis.) 'If you are on 32-bit, [it's a] great opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8.
Responding to the barrage of questions that followed, Andersson explained that Windows 8 wouldn't be a requirement - merely a version of Windows which can run 64-bit software, including previous releases Windows 7 and Windows Vista 64-bit editions.
The company's current flagship title, Battlefield 3, has no 64-bit support - a decision Andersson defends. 'There's no need for [64-bit support] in [Battlefield 3,]
' he told followers. 'Just running on a 64-bit OS gets you 4GB which is plenty enough for it.
Asked for performance details regarding the decision to go 64-bit only in future Frostbite releases, Andersson was somewhat quiet. '[We] don't have any perf[ormance] data to share at this time, but the main drivers [for a move to 64-bit] are larger VA-space [Virtual Address space] and access to RAM.
A move to 64-bit will, in theory, allow DICE to vastly improve an already impressive game engine - but a move to 64-bit exclusivity is a surprise. Previously, games companies have released 64-bit and 32-bit versions of their titles simultaneously, or added 64-bit support in a later patch following a 32-bit only launch.
In recent years, it has become common to see PCs sold with a 64-bit build of Windows - but prior to that the 32-bit version ruled the roost. Making a game engine 64-bit only has the potential to exclude a not-inconsiderable number of gamers on older hardware.
DICE itself has yet to comment on Andersson's revelation.