The Division (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

‘The Division’ Not Held Back By Consoles Per Ubisoft, What’s Got PC Gamers So Mad?

There is nothing more likely to cause a controversy in the PC gaming community than the implication that a game was held back because of consoles. That’s exactly what happened with The Division on Sunday, thanks to an interview with an anonymous Ubisoft developer. The publisher has now put out a statement vigorously denying the claim, but do PC gamers still have a reason to be upset with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?

As covered by The Inquistr, a nameless Ubisoft Massive developer was asked by YouTube channel Team Epiphany if the studio was restricted on how far they can push a game for the PC because of console platforms.

“It is definitely a [factor],” the developer offered. “But one good thing about The Division is that we’ve always considered PC as a separate platform. I’ve worked on projects before where the PC version’s a port from a console, so it carries those limitations over, but we’ve always been in the mind that we’ll have a dedicated PC build, so it hasn’t really held it back too much.”

“We do have to kind of keep it in check with consoles because it would kind of be unfair just to push it so far away from them.”

The Division (PC)
The PC version of The Division running in 4K. [Image via Ubisoft]
Ubisoft’s answer by a developer in a statement to PCGamesN denies that anything in the PC version of the game was held back.

“It has come to our attention that a comment from one of our team members has been perceived by some members of the community to imply the PC version of The Division was ‘held back’ and this is simply not true. From the beginning, the PC version of The Division was developed from the ground up and we’re confident players will enjoy the game and the features this version has to offer. And the feedback from PC players who participated in the recent closed beta supports this.”

Does Ubisoft have a point? As reported by The Inquisitr, The Division comes with a wealth of graphics options on the PC that make the shooter look far superior graphically to consoles when compared to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. PC players with high-end gaming PCs will easily notice better shadows, better reflections, better draw distance, and other graphical goodies in addition to the ability to run the game at higher 1440p and 4K resolutions along with increased frame rate options. These all taxed high-end PCs running Nvidia 980Ti graphics cards in tests performed by Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry.

Ubisoft didn’t stop with improvements over consoles at graphics, however. The PC version of The Division enjoys a number of other upgrades such as multi-monitor support with each monitor capable of running at different resolutions. PC gamers can also customize the user interface to move elements elsewhere on the main screen or even move UI elements to an additional monitor. This will allow players to go with a completely HUD-less look on the primary monitor with all the UI elements on a second monitor if they wish.

Additionally, The Division on PC will support select LED keyboards in a way that few games have. Keys on the keyboard will light up depending on the context of a game. For example, the key associated with the health regen ability might flash when your character is running low on health.

From a technical standpoint, the PC version of The Division is vastly superior to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions. Ubisoft has gone out of its way to provide it with special treatment, which is welcome after a year of disastrous ports ranging from Batman: Arkham Knight to the most recent Tales of Symphonia.

Still, the anonymous Ubisoft developer put the statement out there without a clarification of what specifically was “held in check.” Is this content? Features? Graphics quality? Now Ubisoft is in damage control mode.

[Image via The Division]

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