As someone who plays video games a lot, graphics are important to me. Not a deal breaker by any means but its always nice to have a game running at its max. That being said, I can’t remember the last time a game company has deliberately limited their game’s graphics to avoid discussion on which system their game runs better on.
This is exactly what’s happening with Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
In an interview with videogamer.com, Assassin’s Creed: Unity Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand confirmed that both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Unity would run at 900p/30fps. He stated:
“We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff.”
God bless him if he really thought that that comment would help avoid the bickering between the Sony faithful and Xbox faithful. He then continued with some actual good reasons why Ubisoft would do this.
“Technically we’re CPU-bound,” [senior producer Vincent Pontbriand] 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.”
So as everyone except Vincent could have seen coming, his initial comment didn’t go over very well. Twitter is full of Sony faithful who are angry that they are now getting, in their opinion, a watered down version of Unity because the Xbox One can’t keep up with the PS4. For what it’s worth, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag shipped last year at those same 900p/30fps specs. A later update brought the PS4 version to 1080p.