Could This Be Watch Dogs on PS3? Then Hurry Up, PS4

Excuse the cringeworthy trailer above, but there’s something very important to note about it, regarding the graphical quality. You see, the visuals present look quite poor in comparison to what we’ve previously seen of the game.

That’s because, from what I along with a host of NeoGAF users have deduced, it’s possibly footage taken from the current-gen version of the game.

[drop]It does look very dated – the uploader of the video even quips “I love that they’re making a Nintendo 64 version of the game. Thanks Ubisoft!” along with plenty more scathing comments appearing over on GAF.

Some worry about how The Division will look and others suggest that it’s simply a GTA IV mod, though that’s not likely due to the authenticity of the video and, well, the fact that it actually includes Aisha Tyler.

There’s some extreme hyperbole present within the comments, which naturally permeates any internet forum, but there are some good points in among all the nonsense, discussing just how it could manage to look so poor and why Tyler doesn’t actually look anything like her real-life counterpart.

And it’s not just the way it looks either – the way it flows is totally off, with clunky animations – just look at 43 seconds in when Aisha steps off the curb and subsequently back on. What happened to this game?

Compare the above to the stunning E3 2012 gameplay reveal footage below and you’ll see exactly what I mean, particularly when the protagonist steps out into the rain at around the six minute mark, his jacket flowing behind, beautifully animated, as he runs off to cause a traffic collision.

There are suggestions that it’s perhaps Wii U or even PC footage on the lowest quality settings but it’s definitely a downgrade from what we’ve seen before, from presumably the full-spec PC version, which should be similar graphically to the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

I had never noticed just how big a step up next-gen visuals could be, instead focusing my excitement on all the other aspects of the consoles, but now Ubisoft have shown just that; this is perhaps the best marketing that the PS4 has had in terms of graphics to date.

This comes after the Animation Director, Colin Graham, said “players are going to know they aren’t getting a bad experience if they play Watch Dogs for the current gen,” which now sounds like a bit of a mistruth.

Thankfully, to clear up the confusion slightly, Watch Dogs Creative Director Jonathan Morin took to twitter to diffuse the situation, using a lot of winking faces in the progress. He said that “sometimes 100s of people working together causes communications issues” and that “Current Gen is better than that…” so it sounds like some crossed wires have caused the footage to be taken from the wrong build.

I’m still worried that we haven’t seen anything from the current generation versions, nor a real confirmation of what platform the above footage is from.

Perhaps the video is just from an unannounced Vita or mobile version then? Unlikely, but whatever the case is, bring on the next generation so we can experience something resembling the majesty of the original E3 reveal footage.

Does the possible difference in graphical quality affect your decision to buy a next generation machine in any way? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Maybe this is the XBone version when played offline, without “the infinite power of the cloud” to give it that extra special boost?

    But seriously, it makes no difference to me as I have the PS4 version pre-ordered anyway.

    • PS4 version seems to be the core version with it being shown everywhere and same exclusive content as ps3.

      Any game what is on ps3/ps4 i’ll get the ps4 version.

  2. I can’t see this vid at work but i believe i watched it last night – i was trying to hear the ‘comedy’ but the ambient in-game noise drowned it out – i noticed the poor visuals and was wondering what the hell .. then i guessed it must be the current gen version .. it’d better be as i’ve ordered the PS4 version! :)

  3. Perhaps it was an internal trailer that was never supposed to see the light of day?
    I could however see it being a vita version of the game, with that trailer captured from a devkit.

    I would be surprised if that was the ps3/360 version.

  4. Well, seeing that Ubisoft had Assassins Creed running on the Vita ;)

  5. My guess is that it’s a PC trailer from a build with many of the dev checkboxes that make games look great unticked (this might not be how it actually works…).
    We’ve seen PS4 footage so I’m not worried about that and as for the current gen footage still missing in action? Why would they want to show off their brand new game on an old platform with inferior graphical fidelity? I can’t remember any devs showing off PS2 footage when PS2/PS3 cross gen games were coming out.

  6. Yeah looks like an early trailer, rather like what we seen of Killzone 2 at E3 2005 as an impression of what to expect.

  7. my guess is this is actually closer to the ps4 and xboxone version than any of the hyper pc footage they have so far shown.

    its going to sting, but this game, and many launch games next gen are not going to look anywhere near as amazing as people are hoping.

    • No, PS4 can easily match a decent PC, I’ve seen InFamous and Killzone running and they look all sorts of awesome compared to PS3 games, the jump in quality is tremendous, just as much from PS2 to PS3.

      • The PS4’s GPU is basically a 7870, isn’t it? The difference between PS3 and PS4 is there, but it’s not massive. Not yet.

      • I agree the ps4 can match a decent PC, my point was that the footage showed on ultra high spec PCs at E3 etc is not going to be matched by the PS4 or xbox versions…

        Not that the kit can’t handle it, just that the development and optimisation process isn’t going to be anywhere near as streamlined as it will be later in the life cycle.

        infamous and killzone both look great, but have a first party advantage as well as art direction specifically designed to work within graphical limitations – a set of skills working with SPUs has probably played a hand in.

        Don’t get me wrong, next gen is going to be a golden era for gaming I’m sure, but the intial jump isn’t going to be as huge as people are hoping. Particularly if you compare with well coded games like the last of us…

      • The PS4’s hardware is more than just the graphics card but I agree with the sentiment, Al.

        Graphically, we’re entering the law of diminishing returns. Last gen showed us how open world games could exist. This gen we saw them grow, hugely. Next gen will see them refined to buggery and back with wonderful, country-sized regions to explore (The Crew being a good example). However, from a game-type perspective, we’re now getting variations on the core genres and game-mechanics that we know and love but little else. Cars will look shinier, people will (hopefully) look more realistic but games have already been hugely immersive, graphically, and we have the likes of Naughty Dog to thank for that.

        There’s barely a proper, stand-alone genre or game type that’s come about this generation that couldn’t be done on the previous gen. From here on in, it’s either visual art style or ultra-real graphics that will set games apart in the looks department.

      • The problem about saying there’s no graphical jump in next gen, is that no one is taking a look at the situation and seriously considering whether there should be an equal jump between current gen and next as there was between the PS2 and PS3 because after all there is nothing to drive that size of graphical leap this time around, HD TV is established and 4k is too far away to have any kind of critical mass, to borrow from Intel’s tradition with its CPUs this gen is the tick where performance is better generally, and last gen with the move from SD to HD graphics was the tock.

        This gen is going to be more about the use of textures and AI and increasing the fidelity and populations of game worlds, increasing the quality of existing screens, whist PC gamers are frequently pushing their ‘amazing’ machines by using 3 screens or 1440p screens, which when you’re driving more pixels increases the oomph to run the higher quality graphics.

    • I think I will agree with you on this. We saw it before with the current gen. Lots of great trailers showing what the console can do, and then the final games looking nothing like it.

      Although, these graphics look worse than a lot of the current games coming out, so its very confusing.

      • This looks to me like they’ve taken the level of detail from npc pedestrian models, which would never get this much screen time in the actual game… seems strange they have made a promo video out of it though… perhaps they were hoping the cameo of this apparent celebrity would carry it off..

        maybe they forgot for a second that the internet would pounce and eat it’s neck for having the audacity to do something that did not shatter the very earth we stand on

    • We’ve seen Watch_Dogs running on the PS4 (Late Night with Fallon) and while it doesn’t quite reach those ultra specced PC levels, it’s much closer to it than it is to this trailer. No need to guess. :)

  8. The visual quality looks like most multi-platform current gen games in that trailer. I’m not worried at all about how it’ll look on the PS4.

    • I’ve been waiting for someone to say this. The graphical quality looks exactly like current gen. Especially when you think that GTA V’s recent trailer was pulled from the PS3 and that was better than this. I reckon it’s an old current gen trailer and sneaked out accidentally. However, as we know with previous GTAs, all you need is relatively solid graphics with great acting, voice work and half decent mo-cap and things can look splendidly believable.

  9. I’m confident the PS4 version will be considerably better than this video (fingers crossed)

  10. i wouldn’t go as far as to say it looks like a PS2 game, but it does look like something that would have come out early this gen.

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