Ubisoft doesn’t want to fight. The French company would rather we all just chill out and enjoy some Parisian assassinations in its next game.
To ensure it doesn’t have to deal with the console war, Ubisoft plans to unleash a nearly identical version of Assassin’s Creed: Unity on both Microsoft’s and Sony’s latest consoles. That does not mean both releases are getting a full 1,080 lines of horizontal resolution at 60 frames per second. Instead, the publisher confirmed to website Videogamer.com that Unity will run at 900p at an FPS of 30.
“We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff,” Ubisoft senior producer Vincent Pontbriand said. “The GPUs [in the new consoles] are really powerful. 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.”
All that information is apparently too much to get Unity running at the 1080p and 60 fps that gamers consider as the benchmark for optimal performance.
“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 jut the graphics. But because of AI, we’re still limited to 30 frames per second.”
We’ve asked Ubisoft if this means it is lowering the resolution and frame rate of one game for the sake of parity. We’ll update this story with its response.
A resolution of 900p doesn’t mean that Unity is going to look terrible. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have very good upscaling hardware that can take a 900p signal and upgrade it to 1080p. In the end, it is very difficult to tell the difference between a native 1080p game and a 900p image upscaled to 1080p.
Early in this generation, consumers are still very concerned about specs like resolution. People want to know that they are getting something new and impressive when they spend $400 to $500 on new hardware. Players previously noted the difference between the PS4 versions of releases like Battlefield 4, Trials: Fusion, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. While publishers and developers are releasing games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which is just a sequel to a franchise we played many times on the old-gen hardware, gamers will likely continue to get hung up on numbers like 900p and 30 fps.