Battlefield 3 has today introduced new "shortcut items" to its in-game store making it possible for players to buy items which otherwise would need to be earned through gameplay.

10 different shortcut items are available today.

"If you're new to the game, this is the perfect way to gain some ground on the veterans online," explains DICE. "Or if you'd love to get some more air time in the jets but want to equip those AA missiles straight away, this is for you."

The 10 shortcut items are available now from the PlayStation Store and the in-game store and include:

Kit Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items unique to the four playable classes

Vehicle Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items for all vehicles

The Ultimate Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items from all other available shortcut packs

The items will come to Xbox 360 when the latest patch rolls out.

We're not sure what the hardcore Battlefield players will think of this, but it's likely anyone who plays the game to a really high level won't need to pay for unlocks anyway.

EA has provided item unlocks for many of its games via DLC purchases, but Battlefield 3 differs in that players can then take these items online to compete with players who haven't artificially boosted their ability in-game.