AMD and Electronic Arts send word this afternoon that the Mantle update for Battlefield 4 has been delayed until next month. The update was previously scheduled for late December, however any slippage on that schedule would push the release to January, which it appears is exactly what has happened. AMD and EA have released a short and highly sanitized statement on the matter.

After much consideration, the decision was made to delay the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4. AMD continues to support DICE on the public introduction of Mantle, and we are tremendously excited about the coming release for Battlefield 4! We are now targeting a January release and will have more information to share in the New Year.

With that in mind, for Battlefield 4 players it’s well known that DICE is in the middle of a massive bug hunt due to a number of recurring (and sometimes severe) bugs in the game, which has led to DICE pausing most other development tasks in order to focus on fixing bugs. As such there’s been a lot of speculation over whether Mantle would be delayed as part of the bug hunt, and to minimal surprise this seems to be what has happened.

With that said, while Electronic Arts’ statement is unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) light on details, given the compartmentalized development of modern engines and the bugs facing Battlefield 4 we have good reason to believe that Mantle development itself has only been minimally impeded (if affected at all) since the bulk of BF4’s issues are not in the rendering engine. Instead it’s far more likely that DICE and EA’s QA teams are tied up finding bugs and testing fixes, which would require delaying the Mantle update due to a lack of resources to validate it. The silver lining on all of this being that if our assumption is right, it would at least mean the Frostbite rendering team would have more time to spend on the project while waiting for QA resources to be freed up.

As for the state of the Mantle API itself, we don’t expect that this will change anything. AMD is already working with other developers on Mantle and we’ve already seen Mantle on display at the 2013 AMD Developer Summit, so we know it’s up and running in development form. But as Battlefield 4 is still going to be AMD’s launch vehicle for Mantle, this means that AMD’s consumer Mantle plans are essentially delayed in lockstep with Battlefield 4.

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  • tisho75 - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    Wow, so much comments about something that we will see within a month :) Suggestions only.. Why you are not commenting so actively (except imperial vs metric system) next article: http://anandtech.com/show/7601/sapphire-radeon-r9-... ? What about the performance, price, noise, overclocking? I remember that you said that this chip (R9) is a crap? Reply
  • tisho75 - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    And Happy New Year! Reply
  • owan - Thursday, January 2, 2014 - link

    what the hell are you on about with regards to AMD? This is obviously out of their hands due to the fact that EA/DICE's inability to deliver a working game totally blew up the timeline. But yea, since their software partner had much bigger problems AMD should get out of the market and give up.

    Give it a rest already
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - link

    The Surprise of the year for me was people actually thinking Mantle was a good idea. Then coming to anandtech and finding an entire section dedicated to AMD marketing materials and an editorial that told us all how Mantle was going to be an Xbox API made for PC and that most likely Microsoft was going to be using Mantle and that Mantle games would be Xbox One games easily transferred from Xbone to PC.

    That bit of fantasy was the biggest surprise of the year for me regarding AMD. A close second was when AMD used the same fan/heatsink on the R9 290X as the reference board for the 6xxx series and the 7xxx series before it.

    Honorable mentions go to:

    1) AMD acknowledged they didn't know what was going wrong with the frame latency issues and had to have nVidia help them figure them out,

    2) AMD promised a frame latency driver in the June timeframe (with anandtech saying they were sure it was coming sooner rather than later since it's a priority) that turned into the July timeframe which became the August timeframe

    3) AMD blasted the web with an email telling everyone how R9 290/290X boards were all getting Battlefield 4 after a certain date and then retracted it by saying that the email was not by anyone important so it should have been ignored when it was by their big kahuna of marketing.

    4) AMD promised preorders of the R9 290X before they'd even announced a price point and then actually delayed for a month before even acknowledging price point or allowing preorders despite promises from the aforementioned big kahuna of marketing to the contrary.

    It's been an amazing year for AMD! Those are just the highlights. Can't wait to see what they do in 2014! I really hope they get better. I hate to imagine a world where Intel and nVidia can do whatever they want, but years like 2013 really don't do much to instill confidence.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - link

    No one ever said this was going to Xbox API on PC. What people were saying was it's going to be similar to BOTH consoles due to the similar hardware.

    I think this is a great Idea, of course people that hate AMD/ATI will continue to do so. But who cares what they think.
    Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    Ryan Smith did in his Mantle lovefest article. That is what he is referring to here. You have to understand how much they love AMD here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7371/understanding-a...
    " What’s not being said, but what becomes increasingly hinted at as we read through AMD’s material, is not just that Mantle is a low level API, but rather Mantle is the low level API. As in it’s either a direct copy or a very close derivative of the Xbox One’s low level graphics API. All of the pieces are there; AMD will tell you from the start that Mantle is designed to leverage the optimization work done for games on the next generation consoles, and furthermore Mantle can even use the Direct3D High Level Shader Language (HLSL), the high level shader language Xbox One shaders will be coded against in the first place.

    Let’s be very clear here: AMD will not discuss the matter let alone confirm it, so this is speculation on our part. But it’s speculation that we believe is well grounded. Based on what we know thus far, we believe Mantle is the Xbox One’s low level API brought to the PC."

    He kept going with more, but you get the idea. He's saying it IS the xbox low level API. Note MS responded shortly after this saying nope, nadda, sorry "there will be no mantle on xbox1! PERIOD"...And the fantasy ended...Awww, shucks...

    HisDivineOrder isn't talking about "people". He's talking about Anandtech & Ryan Smith's article in particular. At this point they are practically an AMD shill. They have a whole section devoted to AMD. But not a think for Nvidia. If there are any among you who don't find this to be a conflict of interest, I submit you don't know what one actually is. A website reviewing two competing companies should not be putting out press releases and every piece of new in existence on ONE of those two companies. If you're going to do that you should have BOTH sides FULLY covered (like an NV portal for starters).
    Reply
  • medi02 - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    What a pile of S.
    nVidia HELPED AMD fix frame pacing? Oh, god...
    Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - link

    Always
    Mantle
    Delayed
    Reply
  • SR81 - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - link

    Always
    Missing
    Deadlines

    Are
    Monies
    Dwindling
    Reply
  • Gunbuster - Friday, January 3, 2014 - link

    Was going to post but you beat me to it. It astounds me how AMD manages to make a solid graphics chip while at the same time being so tragically incompetent on software/drivers, heatsinks, and branding (ugly ass cards, cheap looking AMD/ATI red) Reply

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