DICE studio head Patrick Bach said during an interview that they had to make few tweaks to Battlefield 3 multiplayer aspect on consoles to make sure the similar quality. The decision to keep Maps small and limit players to 24 on console version is due to Scalability.
The biggest difference between the PC and console version of Battlefield 3 is that we have 64 players on the PC and 24 players maximum on console.
The rest is more or less the same: we use the same engine, the same technology, the same animation system, the same lighting system. Our aim is to give the player the exact same experience and not try to dumb down the console version.
If you want the same quality of game, I would say it’s really, really hard. We tried to get more players in [to the console version] but then you need to scale down all the graphics, scale down all the destructibility, and sometimes you need to scale down all the map sizes. Everything is a compromise on: where do you cut?
He continued by saying if some games support more players, it doesn’t mean they would provide better multiplayer experience and it DICE were to keep 64 players in console version, they had to down-scale the graphics which would have upset the console fans. He assured that the experience on consoles and PC will be same, only the later would have larger maps.
When we say they are smaller, it’s not that we have cut them in half, he explained. But we tried to compact them slightly to keep the action up. If you compare it to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the maps weren’t really small on console. We actually had huge maps even for console. We have the same kind of angle on it right now. We want to create the same experience for PC as for consoles.
Get the reality check when the game is released in October. Before that you may get the chance to play the game during the beta that is slated for September.