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In 2013, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag for Xbox One, PS4 and other systems. It was the company’s first game for the new consoles and as such, each version ran at 30 frames per second and at a 900p resolution, not the legendary 1080p/60fps combo next-gen hopefuls were pining for. Ubisoft managed to patch in 1080p support for the PS4 version later on, but the Xbox One remained 1080p-less. Fast-forward one year as Assassin’s Creed Unity prepares for its 14 November launch. Has Ubisoft learned from its mistakes, will the latest Assassin’s Creed reach the 1080p/60fps milestone? The answer are yes (kind of) and no.
According to a report from Videogamer, Assassin’s Creed Unity will run at 900p/30fps on both the Xbox One and PS4 because Ubisoft is seemingly lazy as hell. Here’s what Ubisoft’s producer Vincent Pontbriand says:
We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff. 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 bottle-necked 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.
If Ubisoft thinks that it’s locking the specifications to avoid “debates and stuff” it better check itself into the reality clinic. All it’s done is to fan the flames of internet hate. There are currently 27 500 news stories on Google surrounding this. I’d call that more than “debates and stuff”. What this really feels like is both a slap in the face to PS4 owners, and a failure to deliver for Xbox One consoles. While both the PS4 and Xbox One are lesser systems in comparison to the ultimate custom PC, it’s unfair of Ubisoft to punish both sides of the console camp. This nonsense has quickly spiraled out of control with the twitter hashtag #PS4NoParity used to represent the frustrations from PS4 owners.
— Bintang Angkasa (@angkasabintang) October 7, 2014
— John Williams (@johnwilliams713) October 7, 2014
As an Xbox One fan, I support #PS4noParity. If Ubisoft can hit 1080p on PS4 they bloody well should.
— Jez (@MSFTY) October 6, 2014
It goes on, and I’m not sure what irritates me more — the fact that Ubisoft has to pander to Microsoft’s ego, that it was too shortsighted to correct an issue that has been screwing over console owners since the next-gen launches, or that Ubisoft is seemingly too smug to admit its mistakes.