New Fallout 3 Patch Offers Surprise 360 Visual Upgrade


The latest Fallout 3 patch not only adds new Achievements for The Pitt and prepares the game for future DLC, it also upgrades the visuals in the Xbox 360 version to bring them more in line with the PlayStation 3 release – at least in some areas.

The Xbox 360 version of the post-nuclear hit Fallout 3 offered a frame rate superior to that of its PlayStation 3 cousin and 4x multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA), but it suffered from inferior up-close texture quality and a lack of specular maps on characters and creatures. While not an Earth-shattering difference, the end result was a “flat” look compared to the PS3 and PC versions of the game.

Bethesda’s latest patch helps address this shortcoming, introducing specular maps and kicking up the visual quality, although only in certain areas of the game. “Perhaps the omission was simply a bug,” an entry on the Inside Digital Foundry technical blog says. “Or perhaps not, because while the effect has been replaced in the more obvious locations, elsewhere it is still absent.” The lower resolution textures, however, remain in place.

So while the Xbox 360 version of the game may still not be quite up to par in a side-by-side comparison with the PS3, it looks like Bethesda is doing its best to get it there. 360 owners can comfort themselves while they wait by playing Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt or, in April, Broken Steel. More information about the new Fallout 3 patch is available at Bethesda’s Fallout 3 website.

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