The debate over PlayStation 4 and Xbox One graphics power took a bizarre turn Monday thanks to an Ubisoft’s developer comments in an interview. What was meant to be a technical explanation for why the game is running in 900p and 30 frames per second (fps) on both consoles turned into a firestorm of skepticism and accusations from PlayStation fans.
Ubisoft originally stated that it was targeting 1080p and 60fps for Assassin’s Creed: Unity(via GameSpot). However, Senior Producer Vincent Pontibrand revealed that it will actually be 900p and 30fps for both the PS4 and Xbox One in an interview with VideoGamer.
If Pontibrand had simply stated that the sub-1080p resolution for both console was due to credible technical limitations, gamers would have likely grudgingly accepted it. Instead, he opened by saying, “We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff.”
This immediately set off PlayStation 4 owners on Reddit, NeoGAF, Twitter and other forums who feel that they are purposefully being given a sub-standard product. This comes complete with accusations that Microsoft paid Ubisoft money to make this happen.
— SpiderBite / Moose! (@NextGenTactics) October 6, 2014
Forced parity is garbage. Lost my purchase: Assassin’s Creed Unity is 900p/30fps on both PS4 & Xbox One http://t.co/PljAT3LKLj
— Jason Rose (@JasonRoseEh) October 6, 2014
“It’s a stupid decision, especially is they think it will avoid debates because that was obviously NEVER going to happen, this will just cause more. Honestly, I think Microsoft paid them to do this, it seems like a little much of a coincidence for this to be the first AC game in a while that isn’t using a PlayStation as its flagship console then this happens.”
“what a idiotic thing to say…. I really cannot believe that they are that dumb lol. Now instead of some shitty people in a IGN thread yelling at each other. All those people plus many more are going to complain directly to Ubisoft.”
The 30 fps is honestly not surprising. That’s been the standard for open-world games on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One thus far. The 900p resolution is surprising for the PlayStation 4 though. Pontibrand explained that this due to CPU constraints, however, and nothing to do with the GPU where the PS4 enjoys an advantage over the Xbox One.
“The GPUs [in the new consoles] are really powerful,” Pontibrand explained. “Obviously, the graphics look pretty good. But it’s the CPU [that] has to process the artificial intelligence, the number of NPCs we have onscreen, and all these systems running in parallel.”
“We were quickly bottlenecked by [the CPU],” said Pontbriand. “It was a bit frustrating because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise, and we realized it was going to be pretty hard [on these processors]. But it’s not the number of polygons that affect the framerate. We could be running at 100 FPS if it was just the graphics. But because of AI, we’re still limited to 30 frames per second.”
As I said, if Pontibrand had stuck to that explanation, this would be a non-story. The statement that Ubisoft decided to “lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff” is driving the firestorm because it is being perceived as confirmation of dirty dealings going on behind the scenes between console makers and game publishers.
I almost expect Pontibrand or Ubisoft to issue a statement stating that the “avoid debate and stuff” statement was meant as a joke that wasn’t translated in the text of the interview. It’s just such a bizarre thing to say.
What do you think of Ubisoft’s statement on the resolution for Assassin’s Creed on the PS4 and Xbox One? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Ubisoft]