Home Gaming Why Ubisoft hid Watch Dogs PC graphics options

Why Ubisoft hid Watch Dogs PC graphics options

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WatchDogs

As you already likely know, some clever clogs has found a way to unlock a number of graphical options hidden within the PC version of Watch Dogs.  They make the game look, for all intents and purposes, like the stunning E3 reveal. We suspect they were disabled so that console gamers don’t feel like they drew the short straw, but Ubisoft says that’s not the case.

Speaking on the news section of the Watch Dogs official site, The team acknowledged the patch, though said that using the graphics mod could result in unforeseen. negative consequences.

The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve.

We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality. Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts.

Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.

That may be, but it does make the game look pretty breath-taking, and whether or not they were deactivated for the benefit of console gamers, having the game look as good on the dedicated gaming machines would probably impact performance quite significantly.

Either way, I think they should have made the optional toggles to begin with; the PC crowd loves that sort of thing.

Last Updated: June 20, 2014

118 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

    June 20, 2014 at 08:36

    “We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released”

    HOU OP KAK PRAAT UBI!!!!!

    Reply

    • Viking Of GabeN

      June 20, 2014 at 08:43

      Ja nee, jirre… The one guy I know that owns W_D is getting enhanced Visuals AND improved performance using that “mod” so UBI PRAAT BAIE KAK!

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 20, 2014 at 08:47

      Eks amper klaar met WD 😛

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 20, 2014 at 08:57

        I logged in last night to see if the patch was active. Nope.

        Actually dreamt of jamming this with NO performance issues 🙁

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 20, 2014 at 09:02

          Watse taal is die?

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:08

            Jou ma se taal?

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:22

            Julle mense verloor dit alweer.

          • Hammersteyn

            June 20, 2014 at 09:29

            Jy doen nou XD

        • Rince&exhale

          June 20, 2014 at 09:14

          Can you not just get the file from your PC and open it?

          Reply

          • FoxOneZA

            June 20, 2014 at 09:36

            I think he wants the official patch.

        • FoxOneZA

          June 20, 2014 at 09:35

          The game is CPU intensive and discussion boards are calling it a poor implementation of DX11.

          Reply

        • Anon A Mouse

          June 20, 2014 at 09:59

          That’s what she said.

          Reply

    • Sith JJ

      June 20, 2014 at 09:21

      Agreed. They’re trying so hard to cover their asses.

      Reply

      • FoxOneZA

        June 20, 2014 at 09:37

        Or this could just be a conspiracy to push the sales of high-end GPU’s because BC mining has fallen of the charts?

        Reply

        • Sith JJ

          June 20, 2014 at 09:40

          Not working on me.

          Reply

  2. Jonah Cash

    June 20, 2014 at 08:37

    Hahahahahaha!! This!!!!

    Reply

    • Rince&exhale

      June 20, 2014 at 08:44

      YES 🙂

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 20, 2014 at 08:46

      XD

      Reply

    • b1nd3r

      June 20, 2014 at 10:37

      This is sooooooo true >..<

      Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        June 20, 2014 at 11:18

        Exactly!! I buy the games that are good, I really don’t care that my PS4 is not pumping out mega graphics. If the game is good I am happy at 980 upscaled to 1080, and running at 30fps….

        Reply

  3. Rince&exhale

    June 20, 2014 at 08:46

    I think they undercut the PC Masterbaters here. If you are going to optimise for each platform then spend a bit more time under the hood getting the thing to shine on the PC. Console peasants are not OCD with their games and are more than used to dealing with games that look like Tetris compared to their older bro. So let the PC plods eat cake I say!

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 20, 2014 at 08:49

      I thought you can go to options and adjust your settings so that that game runs optimal on your PC but I’m not well versed in technology. I stick the game into a console and start playing.

      Reply

      • Rince&exhale

        June 20, 2014 at 08:51

        No. They didn’t have these settings available. And LOL 😉

        Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 20, 2014 at 09:08

      Not carrot cake though, we’ll leave that for the console gamers 😉

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 20, 2014 at 09:08

        WortelKoek

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 20, 2014 at 09:09

          Jammer, goed dat jy my herhinner dat ons vandag die taal praat.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:11

            Inderdaad

      • Rince&exhale

        June 20, 2014 at 09:10

        I do NOT want anyone eating my cake… Wait 0-O

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

          June 20, 2014 at 09:11

          #VirAltydAlleen ?

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 09:19

            #AltydSK – sonder koek *hardloop*

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:21

            SKR
            SonderKoekRince

          • Hammersteyn

            June 20, 2014 at 09:29

            HAHAHAHA

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 09:21

            What?

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:22

            #ForeverSP

    • Praise Lord GabeN

      June 20, 2014 at 10:38

      Agreed. Everyone knows that peasant eyes can’t see above 720p @ 30fps.

      Reply

  4. Monado

    June 20, 2014 at 08:47

    Yo, I’m going to write an app for Ubisoft that sends out apologies every time they release a game or trailer. Next up is Division.
    “Yo,gamers. We’re sorry we downgraded the visuals,yo. But we want a consistent experience across all platforms. So to the PC gamers, we’re sorry you bought the latest graphics card to play our game and then it ends up looking like utter feces. As always, you may blame the console gamer.
    Sincerely
    Yobisoft”

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 20, 2014 at 08:50

      Do the same for EA, though that might break the internet

      Reply

    • b1nd3r

      June 20, 2014 at 10:38

      EA is graphically challenged, they are completely challenged (^^,)

      Reply

  5. Ryanza

    June 20, 2014 at 08:50

    Ubisoft disabled the PC setting, so that Ubisoft could sell you those settings at a later date.

    Don’t support DRM

    Reply

  6. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 20, 2014 at 08:51

    “subjectively” LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    Reply

  7. KingKappie

    June 20, 2014 at 08:54

    PC gamer’s are just cry babies!

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 20, 2014 at 09:00

      Oh no WD doesn’t look like it did at E3 2012 :'(

      http://d3dsacqprgcsqh.cloudfront.net/photo/ab5686v_460sa.gif

      Reply

    • Greylingad

      June 20, 2014 at 09:18

      Ok, instead of starting another one of those ongoing painstakingly annoying debates about the pc masterrats or anything of the liking, lets just take a minute to look at the history (and the continuation) of technological advancement and the human appreciation of it. We always strive for better, whether it be gameplay or graphics, pencil sharpeners or toasters, we want nice things, it’s in our nature, we also like to look at pretty things, if you wear glasses you’ll understand what it means to watch something in hd or ultra superior PetaByte resolutions, there will always be the argument of consoles being limited vs PCs, it’s ok, it’s not something worth arguing about, a console of the PS4 standard vs a PC of the same standard are, price wise, two completely different things, but it’s ok, why? Well if I can only afford a console and the next best thing is a sub standard PC, guess which one I’ll pick for games… neither, because I can’t currently afford either, but that being beside the point, a console would do perfectly fine, if the application is for gaming only, whereas if I’m in need of a PC so that the Nigerian scam artists can con me into another Lotto wining that I’m still waiting for, then well I’ll have to settle for it… I’m still waiting for that damn payout…

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 20, 2014 at 09:31

        There is no debate. Ever. PC wins. Always will. But that doesn’t stop you from owning a console and a PC. Best of both worlds if you will

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 20, 2014 at 09:33

          Inderdaad. Speel waar jy wil.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:35

            Net nie saam die Gemmer nie, sies

          • KingKappie

            June 20, 2014 at 09:35

            Daar is n plek en tyd vir allis!

        • Greylingad

          June 20, 2014 at 09:39

          Exaggery!!! the joys of capitalism, you get what you pay for….If you throw enough money at anything it’s bound to look good, but I agree in full!

          Reply

        • b1nd3r

          June 20, 2014 at 10:40

          My pc is my console >.< connects gamepad to pc and boom 😛

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            June 20, 2014 at 11:11

            Hahaha yes good point, but there are way to many exclusives on PS that I don’t want to miss out on and PS+ is creating a backlog for me.

          • b1nd3r

            June 20, 2014 at 11:14

            Haha steam is just one giant back log and now gog with their launcher >.< still busy with all the lesuire suit larry`s(have finished them but i blame that game for all my backlogs) and commander keen 😛

          • Hammersteyn

            June 20, 2014 at 11:31

            I effing love GOG

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          June 20, 2014 at 11:20

          This!

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            June 20, 2014 at 11:27

            Praise from Caesar!

  8. Greylingad

    June 20, 2014 at 08:57

    Well now… I don’t know about you guys, but I found something really interesting between using the “mod” -which is more of a tweak than anything else- than the PC patch, which was released last night and when the little bugger finally finished downloading, not very beeg but annoyingly compulsory, I somehow managed to get a lower framerate than when I was running with the “mod”, the funny thing though is that when the DoF is enabled using the “mod”, Aerdern seems extremely near sighted, naturally when disabled the game shines, but performance wise with regards to the uerbeeserft patch its plainly worse… “mod” = on a GTX 580 everything on ultra except for textures, uerbeeserft pertch – everything mostly on high and motion blur and that stuff all turned either oof or set to low… amazing isn’t it…

    Reply

  9. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    June 20, 2014 at 09:09

    I wonder how often Aiden takes another selfie?

    Reply

  10. oVg FX

    June 20, 2014 at 09:17

    GTAV will kick its butt.

    Reply

    • Rince&exhale

      June 20, 2014 at 09:18

      Agreed. Looks shweeet!

      Reply

      • oVg FX

        June 20, 2014 at 09:19

        Like in Infamous Second Son I love that background going out of focus affect. Like in the screen shot above. A pity Ubisoft could not get the PS4 to do that.

        Reply

        • Rince&exhale

          June 20, 2014 at 09:20

          Yeah, they should have delayed for 6 months… Oh 😛

          Reply

          • oVg FX

            June 20, 2014 at 09:21

            So they can release it on the Game Boy. I think thats the only platform that they did not think of.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 20, 2014 at 09:22

          But isn’t that the problem? They couldn’t do it on the PS4, so the PC isn’t allowed to.

          Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 20, 2014 at 09:22

          But isn’t that the problem? They couldn’t do it on the PS4, so the PC isn’t allowed to.

          Reply

          • oVg FX

            June 20, 2014 at 09:23

            If TOMB RAIDER can do it then Ubisoft have no excuse.

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 09:28

            It doesn’t make sense. Chrysis was on the Xbox 360, did they damp down the graphics on the PC for that? (not being specific to Ubi, talking about the logic behind doing it).

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 09:32

            It does make sense I’m afraid. They showed a PC build in 2012, everyone was super impressed because they assumed new consoles could do the same, they spent ages trying to replicate that result on new consoles, couldn’t – so dropped it everywhere & removed the options for PC, because they must all look the same on big next-gen games.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 09:34

            And no, that’s not a criticism of consoles. It’s a criticism of Ubisoft. Before someone gets their panties in a twist.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 09:47

            Well at least it’s not EA that expects you to pay for BF Hardline without the game being;JKLhfdllakkldsgjajghdfjkgadf/,SHMJEWHJKAlkKJLSKAKJJ….. sorry, was beating my keyboard out of anger….anyway, without the game being tested properly… I still can’t believe it….

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:48

            You said it dude. It’s going to be a long time before EA gets anything from me again.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 09:54

            Thanks dude! Shoh, for a moment I thought it was only me that was angry at them… I just… I can’t… I dunno… I’m truly speechless about it, but then again, Ubi is not in my good books either, with almost a quote “hey uhm…. watch dogs isn’t out yet, but uurh buy the season pass before you get the game so that we can sell you stuff while you’re on the hype train and we can slip away with it before you get a chance to express your disappointment”

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:56

            I’ve really lost a lot of faith in these two companies. Ubisoft has really just been pushing badly ported games to pc for the sake of making those few extra $$. I shudder to think what’s going to happen to my beloved Rainbow Six.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 10:00

            Aggeneee…. Rainbow Six…. I loved that whole series, I’m in the same boat man… I actually feel like a community dev for that might work better, get rid of these over compensating publishers, makes me think of system of a downs’ Cigaro…

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:02

            Haha. Good comparison there.
            I don’t want to think about Rainbow Six too much. Upsets me.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 10:03

            hehe, same here, lets just wait and see, expect nothing and if something is delivered we can at least say we were surprised…

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:05

            Agreed

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 10:20

            Someone should also tell EA that just because Early Access abbreviates to EA doesn’t mean they get to use it.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 10:30

            “That’s true, but if early access is reserved for review copies and embargos moved forward (a day maybe) before release, don’t you think that people would spend their money more responsibly? It’ll probably cause a massive ripple through “estimated sales figures” for games, but at least then people won’t be bullied into buying a crappy EA game that resembles something with at least some review feedback as to what might be wrong, good or even worth buying….Oh…ok, no, no uhm scrap that idea, uhm, we need to sell ALL of the copies!!!” – I believe this was the discussion they had in the boardroom…
            Edit: With some dude phoning security to remove the gamer from the boardroom…

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:49

            I’m actually quite saddened to see what’s happened to Ubisoft. I mean, they used to be one of my favourites.

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 09:50

            UbiSHITTYPORTsoft

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:53

            That’s what’s they’ve become. Don’t forget U(can’t)Play also. Forcing that on people has broken them for me.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 09:57

            Not only that, the DRM is supposed to keep pirates at bay, not legit customers, instead we are seeing the exact opposite, watch dogs was on SR before the game was released and no one could play because of that stupid -for lack of a better word- obtrusive piece o cra! mother*censored*censored*censored* uplay…oigh…

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 09:58

            It’s so damn disappointing. I want some of those games, I really do. But just thinking about struggling with Uplay has made me take three games off my wishlist.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 10:01

            Yep!! I’ve come to a point where I’ll just not buy anything Ubi anymore, the worst is Rocksmith… Steam and Uplay… running at the same time? oigh….

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:02

            Same thing on Blood Dragon. But I didn’t know Rocksmith runs through Uplay, so there’s another game going off my wishlist.

          • Greylingad

            June 20, 2014 at 10:05

            Sorry man… I just wish they’d do something about it…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 09:59

            I know. I can’t boycott new games from BOTH EA & Ubi though. Or can I? Decisions decisions.

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:01

            My boycott is strong on EA. Codemasters is also someone who’s really been going downhill, but they’re still okay.
            I’m actually not even trying to boycott Ubisoft I just don’t feel the hassle of Uplay is worth buying the games.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 10:01

            EA is easy to do because their games aren’t on Steam 😀

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:03

            True dat.

          • Johan du Preez

            June 20, 2014 at 10:01

            Yes you can my list to boycott is “Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Blizzard”

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 10:14

            Activision is even easier. I realised the other day that I haven’t bought a single game of theirs in over 10 years, without even trying. All because I don’t like any of the COD, Diablo, Warcraft or Starcraft games they’ve released since then.

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:02

            Agreed. But when they see what all the other big companies are doing they be like “I WANTZ MOAR MONIEZ!”

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:04

            It’s just sad that they look at what the other companies are doing and NOT what the customers (the gamers) are saying.

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 09:46

            Did they specifically say the demo was on a PS4 or Xbone?

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 09:47

            Or did they say ‘also coming to’.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 09:57

            The demo WAS ON A PC.

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:00

            I get that you numbnut. I was asking if they said ‘IT WILL LOOK LIKE THIS ON DA SONY AND MS’. Also, the last year at E3 they showed what was apparently an Xbox One game, but under the table it was discovered it was on a PC, they said it was an emulator showing what the Bone could do ON A PC.

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 10:03

            “numbniut”?

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:03

            it’s like being a numbnut, only without dicks calling out obvious typos 😛

          • Sith JJ

            June 20, 2014 at 10:04

            OOoohhhhhh snap

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 10:09

            Your obsession with dicks is amazing

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:12

            Only with yours.

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 10:13

            I’m not sure I’m comfortable where this is heading…I’m married dude

            😉

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:13

            Lulz 🙂

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 10:17

            XD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 20, 2014 at 10:12

            Don’t get bitchy with me for not answering a question you didn’t ask 😉

          • Rince&exhale

            June 20, 2014 at 10:12

            LOL

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 20, 2014 at 10:13

            Hahaha. You guys. STAHP! So much of lulz today

    • Johan du Preez

      June 20, 2014 at 09:58

      Agreed and its looks 10 times better, heck even Sleeping Dogs looks better than Watch Dogs.

      Reply

  11. Mark Treloar

    June 20, 2014 at 09:19

    Wasn’t the whole reason for the release delay so that they could ““polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.” This now instead reads as the game was not ready for release at all and so we did not have time to optimize or polish anything.

    Reply

  12. b1nd3r

    June 20, 2014 at 10:35

    excuse me if im wrong but, thats bullshit >..< settings there. Wanna know why???? because the pc isnt a fucking locked shitty hardware box that cant be upgraded.

    Reply

  13. MrChinwag

    June 20, 2014 at 10:56

    Firstly Watch Dogs is as un-entertaining to play as watching Portugal/Spain/England in the World Cup. But this whole fucking trend where its all about graphics and not gameplay need to come to an end. I’ll pay full game price for a game that looks like Leisure Suit Larry Lounge Lizards, if it plays well and keeps me entertained.

    Reply

  14. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 20, 2014 at 11:12

    Because?

    Reply

  15. Consumer of Little Rabbits

    June 20, 2014 at 12:44

    Ubi, dont lie to your customers. You knwo very well people opening up these setting have plenty beef behind the screen, you cant come here with your “will affect gameplay” and “make the experience not enjoyable” kak. Where in your fucking life has increasing the fidelity of a game make it worse?

    Reply

  16. Brian Murphy

    June 20, 2014 at 14:40

    PR Speak for:

    Oh shit we left that in there? Fuck, damage control, damage control! Roll out the PR!

    Reply

  17. HisDivineOrder

    June 20, 2014 at 14:55

    Ubisoft didn’t want the console versions looking so inferior to PC they were a joke. Also, I suspect they found it easier to QA if all the versions of the game didn’t look vastly different. Certainly, the extra features don’t typically add THAT much weight to the engine for PC users. For consoles, I’m sure they were squeaking by as it was.

    I get the feeling this game kept the options in because they fully intend to implement them in a more optimized version of the engine for the next game when they have more time to just work on optimization and not be trying to finalize the engine by itself.

    That is, the Assassin’s Creed 2 to this game’s Assassin’s Creed should be amazing because Ubisoft is nothing if not persistent once they’ve finished laying the groundwork to a franchise.

    Reply

  18. Darren Peach

    June 21, 2014 at 18:56

    And…….This will inevitably lead to a pathological need for PC gamers to rub our noses in doodoo.

    Reply

  19. Charl van der Merwe

    June 23, 2014 at 10:45

    PC games being dumbed down for Consoles and Ubisoft lies.Both are undeniable facts of life.

    Reply

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