Quite the unfortunate update comes out of Ubisoft today if you were expecting to play Assassin’s Creed Unity at 1080p, as the publisher has officially expressed that their upcoming title will run at 900p/30fps for both the PS4 and Xbox One.
According to Ubisoft:
“We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff,” senior producer Vincent Pontbriand made this explanation to VideoGamer citing that the console(s) CPUs – not the GPU – that prevents Ubisoft Montreal from improving the game’s performance.
“Technically we’re CPU-bound,” he said. “The GPUs are really powerful, obviously the graphics look pretty good, but it’s the CPU [that] has to process the AI, the number of NPCs we have on screen, all these systems running in parallel.
“We were quickly bottlenecked by that and it was a bit frustrating, because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise, and we realised it was going to be pretty hard. It’s not the number of polygons that affect the framerate. We could be running at 100fps if it was just graphics, but because of AI, we’re still limited to 30 frames per second.”
Breaking down Ubisoft’s reasoning for locking both platform performances to 900p/30fps, the initial quote says this was done “to avoid debates and stuff”. What debates? Then a more technical reasoning is expressed to give more validity to the update. However, the reasoning to avoid debates and such would only be attributed to specific platforms output, of course this is based on the resolution gate consistencies of both platforms.
To Ubisoft’s defense, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag also ran at 900p/30fps for both the PS4 and Xbox One at launch (The PS4 eventually received a patch which increased the resolution to 1080p). Yet, Black Flag was also a game offered on last-gen hardware as well. Unity is not being offered on the PS3 or Xbox 360. So, is it safe to assume that Ubisoft desires to offer a clear cut uniform performance for their new title on both the PS4 and Xbox One, regardless of whether they could actually offer the game on the PS4 at 1080p/30fps and 900p/30fps on the Xbox One? I believe this is your real reason behind the statement made, “to avoid debates and stuff”.
Assassin’s Creed Unity launches on November 11 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.