Assassin’s Creed Unity Locked To 900P On Xbox One And PS4 “To Avoid All The Debates And Stuff”

Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Assassin’s Creed Unity will be locked to 900p and 30 fps. “We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff,” explained Senior producer Vincent Pontbriand.

He might avoid a debate about frame rates but Ubisoft will now have to incur the wrath of PlayStation 4 gamers who will accuse them of borking their version of the game just to keep Microsoft happy.

Vincent did offer a technical reason as to why the game runs at 30 fps, explaining that it was the artificial intelligent routines for the on screen characters that was causing a problem.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag originally ran at 900p on both consoles but was patched up to 1080p on PS4 shortly after the game shipped.

Vincent has also explained why there is no Wii U version of the game, and the simple answer is the console is just not powerful enough to handle the title.

“It couldn’t, it really couldn’t,” he said. “I mean this is why we from the beginning, this was going to be a new-gen-only title, because the crowds aren’t aesthetic, they actually have impact. If we did anything to hinder that or to reduce that it would have a detrimental impact, it wouldn’t be the same experience.”

“I don’t think that would be fair to fans, to sell the same game but with different levels of experience. Even the seamless nature of the series and the scale of the game right, we couldn’t do that. We never load Paris. It wouldn’t be possible, in our minds we’d be cheating fans by providing a lesser version of the same game,” he added.

Ubisoft have also released a new story trailer which you can view below at 1080p, which is rather unfortunate.

Source: Videogamer, YouTube, Redbull

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59 Comments

  1. “To avoid all the debates”?

    The guy who said that was Senior Producer? Of what? Manure?

    I’m not going to guess what’s really gone on here, but at least make an effort to spin it. Don’t insult us with this crap.

    • Platform parity clause. Disgusting. Microsoft truly are evil.

      • This was Ubisofts decision, don’t try to spin it otherwise.

      • Yes, Ubisoft who have an exclusive advertising deal with Microsoft for Unity. You do the math.

      • Not every negative for Sony is due to Microsoft. Take off the tin hat and just accept it.

    • #ps4noparity was trending apparently. Ubi can’t really backtrack now as it will make them look worse for admitting to holding back one version, and for their partner Microsoft which makes their console look weak.

  2. This won’t go down well, though I bet it’ll be patched up to 1080 like AC4 did.

    I guess this shows how much devs are getting fed up of so much focus on resolution & fps rather than game details. You reap what you sow or something like that.

    • I see what you mean but surely the last thing you want is for it to then spiral into an utter slapping online with the enthusiast-to-hardcore gamers for an entire platform getting very, very annoyed with your choices.

      As we’ve seen regularly, usually the Xbox One has a lower resolution and/or frame-rate. I can’t believe this is just Ubisoft’s decision. Okay, I can, but I’m struggling how this was arrived at in a meeting and they thought “yeah, it’ll be fine!”. :-D

      • I think Ubi need to explain the reason better so the pitchfork mob can be called off. The trouble is Ubi know far more about the intricacies of each console and were hoping to avoid having to go into specific details but it looks like they’ll have to due to all the self appointed experts.

        If he had just said “neither console is powerful enough for 1080 on this game” would it have been better?

      • If you have seen the platform parity contracts, its watertight. All ubisoft titles across all Xbox platforms would be affected by breaking it. Even talking about it. The best they can do, is allude to it, and post patch.

        Lawyers would be all over them like a rash if the broke it. Microsoft put this in place very early on, as soon as it was obvious there was a serious shortfall in the xbone specs. Publishers signed it, as they were yet to know how the xbone sales flop was going to pan out.

      • Mr. Blighty just no. Loads of games have better resolution and frame rate out of the box on ps4. The parity clause is related to release date

      • Do you know what companies signed the contract and those that refused? Its not rocket science to work out. Most people in the industry know anyway.. Disgruntled developers talk…

      • You say all Ubisoft titles, but Watch Dogs is 900p on PS4 and 792p on Xbox One and has been since launch, without patches changing the resolution after the fact.

        The Crew is 1080p30 on both, but I’m sure we’ll have Far Cry 4’s resolutions to either fuel or quash the platform parity rumours. Until then.

      • Blighty if such a contract existed it would’ve been leaked long ago by as disgruntled dev as you say. Sorry but I’m calling BS on it.

        You previously claimed to be an industry insider, then admitted this “insider” was your girlfriend who worked for Game!

  3. I was really excited for this, but don’t really want to give Ubisoft my money knowing it’s been purposefully gimped for stupid parity reasons. Maybe I’ll hold on to see how the PC version gets reviewed or if they announce a 1080p patch.

    • I think that the PC version will also be capped at 900p30, just to avoid any debates.

      Or would that be the wrong kind of parity?

      • Haha! Well actually, considering how Ubisoft hid Watch Dog’s max PC settings, that wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. Trying to think which is better to do first with game development. Start with [email protected] and then go as far as possible with the graphics under those figures, or do whatever you want with the graphics and then optimize to what seems reasonable for a modern day resolution/framerate.

    Personally the first one sounds like the right one to me. No point creating an utterly beautiful game and then finding out it can barely run smooth and clear. Surely with this generation being another HD gaming one, people expect actual HD, I mean full HD.

  5. WTF is this 900p crap all about? There’s 720p and 1080p. If you cant handle 1080p, tough shit. Make a better console next gen. Don’t start dumbing down the game on the console that can run it at 1080p. They should be trying to make the game the best it can be on each console. If they start pulling this crap on all multi plat game’s I’m going to be buying a lot of second hand games this gen. Idiots.

  6. ….and just to rub it in the video is in 1080p,by setting the game at 900p for both consoles only fuels the debate even more.

    • The video is in full HD, but I’d bet the footage in it is captured at 900p. It’s a YouTube video, so the compression makes it look worse than 720p anyway.

      • Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.:)

  7. We have to suffer cause of xbone incapability of producing without sacrificing, I thought they freed some space since getting rid of kinect so why are developers struggling

    • Didn’t that give them 10 or 15% extra power?

      The jump from 900p to 1080p is 45% more pixels. Not going to help there, is it?

      And so the PS4 version loses 30% of the graphics, just because the XBone isn’t up to the job?

      Might just save some money and get the other, PS3 game instead. But that’s got all that sailing shenanigans that stopped the last 2 games being great, while Unity looked like a lot more promising. But if it’s been screwed up just to keep MS happy, I’m not sure I want to be giving them money for that.

      On the other hand, it looks enough people could complain about it and they might change their mind. A day one update to bring it back to the quality it should have? I guess that technically keeps MS happy (they’re shipping the game exactly the same)

      • BUT, if the man is telling the truth and they really are CPU limited then there is little practical difference between the two. 1.8ish vs 1.3ish Teraflops GPU difference will not help if the CPU is struggling…

      • It was a theoretical 10%, but even an extra 10% wouldn’t bring XB1 up to the power of PS4.

      • See, I read that as saying that the CPU is what is limiting them to 30fps, not 900p.

        30fps is perfectly acceptable. 900p isn’t, not if the hardware is capable of proper 1080p, as the PS4 should be.

        Of course, nobody knows if MS really did go to them and say “You’re going to make our hardware look crap! Fix that, and you can have this big hat full of cash. It can also be used as a real hat too!”

      • I usually look for the simplest explanation first, Ubi being too lazy to optimize the code, rather than politics :) Not saying you may not be right though!

      • My understanding is that the AI is bottlenecked on the CPU, restricting the game to 30fps.

        Output resolution should only be constrained by the GPU and frame buffer memory. There’s no reason to associate the CPU comment with the resolution parity.

        I’ve no idea what lead UbiSoft here, but I think that they’re going to regret it soon.

      • I just want to point out that the power freed by Kinectlessness is not power added. It was already there, only now it’s useful. What I’m getting at is that the PS4 GPU is approx 45% more powerful on paper compared to the XO. The June SDK didn’t shorten the gap in terms of hardware. It just let the Xbox make better use of its.

      • Teraflops have nothing to do with rendering, and by extension, what resolution a game runs at.

        First you look at render/raster units, PS4 has 16 to X1’s 8 but 8 should be more than capable of 1080p60fps.

        Then it’s pretty much down to memory bandwidth, and it’s hard to compare with esram+ddr3. Vs GDDR5.

        You should be able to fit a 1080p30 framebuffer esram, but not with much left to spare, which suggests AC unity has something else which is low in size but high in bandwidth usage which has been put in esram, and so a smaller frame buffer is used to fit the other stuff in.

        I think. I’m not knowledgeable enough to talk about how shaders affect framerate, but I would not expect the two versions to be identical.

  8. Both consoles are gimped to the same extent by the same weedy CPU though, I thought the whole point this gen was that the GPU was going to do all the work?

  9. Well if that does turn out to be a confession of the fact they’re holding back the PS4 version I won’t be buying it, not if the potential of 1080 exists. That’s pretty damn piss poor if so.

  10. Surely in their attempts to not ‘fuel the debate’ they’ve just gone and created another debate entirely?…and fuelled it!

    This seems like a really silly thing to come out and say. Oh well this can wait til it’s in the bargain bin, loads of games to play between now and end of year anyway

    Ps anyone interested in a new AC game should just go out and buy shadows of morder. Aspects of it play a lot like AC but it’s much more interesting and feels a lot fresher

    • Agree about shadow of mordor! I also avenged your death :) lol

      • You did?, how? Lol. Is the game connected like that?, didn’t even realise that

    • Yeh it automatically connects you online so whoever on your friend list whose got the game & they die you can go kill whoever it is that killed them

      • Man, I almost wish I’d gotten the Playstation version now. I don’t have any friends on Xbox so it only lets me avenge random strangers. But at least it does that instead of not giving me the tasks.

      • Cool never realised that, maybe i can return the favour!. It has given me any indication its connected online that part, maybe i need to be at a certain part of the story or something. Not played it much yet

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