The resolution and frame rate at which we play games has become one of the most heavily debated topics ever since the dawn of current-gen consoles. It’s all about how much better the PS4 can handle games over the Xbox One, something which has really worked against Microsoft. Well Ubisoft want to avoid all of this fuss, so they’re making Unity run identically across the board.
Assassin’s Creed Unity will run at 900p and 30FPS on Xbox One…and PS4. Ubisoft revealed the information last night, after previously stating that they were targeting 1080p/60FPS for both current-gen consoles. In an attempt to avoid resolution gate debates, Ubisoft may have just opened an entirely new can of worms – will console parity hold the PS4 back?
According to Vincent Pontbriand, senior producer on Unity, it has nothing to do with parity. Unity apparently suffers from CPU limitations, with the GPU differences between the consoles not coming into play.
Technically we’re CPU-bound. 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.
So while it seems like it’s purely a technical issue, Pontbriand did feel the need to mention that both versions would be identical in order to “avoid debate”. That certainly seems like one console is getting the short end of the stick, being held back by the weaker of the two.
Ubisoft has since said that they did not lower the PS4’s resolution to match the Xbox One’s.
“We understand how senior producer Vincent Pontbriand’s’s quotes have been misinterpreted,” Ubisoft told GameInformer in a statement. “To set the record straight, we did not lower the specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity to account for any one system over the other. Assassin’s Creed Unity has been engineered from the ground up for next-generation consoles. Over the past four years, we have created Assassin’s Creed Unity to attain the tremendous level of quality we have now achieved on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.”
It’s probably worth noting that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released running at 900p on the PS4, though a post-release patch bumped it up to 1080p after the fact.
It’s a tricky subject. When it comes to PC ports, parity with the console versions is frowned upon. Should it be the same for games that are intentionally downgraded for console equality?
Last Updated: October 7, 2014