The PUBG Corporation, spun out from original publisher Bluehole following the success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, has launched a geographically restricted beta for PUBG Lite in an attempt to win over those with lower-end PCs.
Originally launched in Steam Early Access form before enjoying a delayed cross-platform launch in late 2017, Brendan Greene's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is credited with the sudden explosion of interest in the battle royale genre - inspired more by the film and book of the same name than the wrestling match type, with up to 100 players competing in ever-shrinking environments to scavenge weaponry and be the last player standing. While it may have lost the top spot to Epic's Fortnite Battle Royale, not to mention its reputation for bugs up to and including a faulty anti-cheat system, the game is still proving popular - and now PUBG Corporation is looking to branch out into developing markets with a version better suited to lower-end PC hardware.
Dubbed, unsurprisingly, PUBG Lite, the new variant of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds considerably lowers the minimum system requirements of the game: Where the full-fat release requires, at a minimum, an Intel Core i5-4430 or AMD FX-6300 processor, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R7 370 with 2GB of VRAM, and 30GB of hard drive space, PUB Lite needs only a Core i3 2.4GHz or better CPU, 4GB of RAM, 4GB of hard drive space, and can even run acceptably on Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics processors (iGPs). For those looking for a better experience than the bare minimum, PUBG Lite's recommended specs bump things up to a 2.8GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics card or better.
With PUBG Lite, the company is looking to chase a slightly different market: Its initial beta tests are geographically restricted to players in Thailand, suggesting that PUBG Lite is aimed at - or will at least initially target - nations where high-end gaming PCs are the exception rather than the rule. In its official launch announcement, the company has promised that the game will be free-to-play - the first time the title has been offered as anything other than pay-to-play, with the Steam version currently priced at £26.99 (inc. VAT).
PUBG Corporation has indicated that the Thai beta will open soon, though only 'when we are sure that all systems can work perfectly'.
A PUBG Corporation spokesperson has clarified that the test will be available in 'selected countries in Southeast Asia' and that it 'will help us determine if this is a viable product for other regions'.