Battlefield 3 on sale; gets nearly 3 million pre-orders

Today is the day that a lot of gamers have been waiting on. Electronic Arts officially announced that not only did its first person shooter Battlefield 3 go on sale today for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles but that the game has already generated nearly 3 million units sold in pre-orders before the official release date.

The game, from developer Digital Illusions, is slated to go head-to-head with Activision's Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 which will be released for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and even the 3DS on November 8, just two weeks from now. Both games are set in the present and deal with a military threat against the US.

While the Call of Duty series has a huge fan following, especially on the Xbox 360 console, some critics point to the games' very brief single player campaigns (five hours or less) and its engine constraints. By contrast, the early reviews of Battlefield 3 have praised the single player campaign and its Frostbite 2 engine can handle huge outdoor scenes and up to 64 players, including air and ground vehicles, in multiplayer modes.

Hardcore PC gamers have been especially excited by the release of Battlefield 3 since Digital Illusions announced early on that they were making the PC the lead platform for the game. That means full DirectX 11 support and graphics options that pretty much blow away the console version. You can check out a presentation of Battlefield 3's graphics support for the PC in the video below (the first of five by the way).

It's going to be interesting to see if gamers get both Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 and see which one they will gravitate towards in the end. It's also interesting to see the PC, for once, as the lead in a major multi-platform game launch.

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