Resolution and frame-rate specs for Watch Dogs have reportedly been unveiled, leading to obvious disparities between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions–further igniting the controversy surrounding the new in-game trailer.
It appears that Ubisoft’s press conference for the upcoming hit Watch Dogs led to more than just an official release date, as the reports of the game’s resolution differences have sent a fresh surge of division across the gaming sphere.
The frame rate and resolution differences have given more credence to the age old console battle, which suggests that one console is inferior due to the lower graphical resolution of many of its games. The reports indicate that both the Xbox One and PS4 will run Watch Dogs at 30 frames-per-second (which is understandable given the open-world elements), but there is a disparity between their resolutions.
Below are the purported resolutions for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC flavors of Watch Dogs, however these figures may be subject to change:
- PS4: 1080p at 30fps
- Xbox One: 960p at 30fps
- PC: Up to 4K with varying frame-rates
This news has already inflamed yet another “resolutiongate” quarrel, with both PlayStation and Xbox One fans defending their respective consoles in light of these figures. The lower native resolutions for Xbox One fall in line as the console uses a graphical upscaler to hit 1080p resolution, and most gamers won’t really notice it during gameplay (this of course varies on a game-to-game basis), leaving some to conclude that the arguments are trivial matters.
This isn’t the only bit of news that has caused the community to quarrel: Ubisoft’s recent story trailer for Watch Dogs has sent both sides into disarray. The trailer, which had been leaked before Ubisoft put it up, has been met with near-universal disfavor due to the apparent lowered quality.
Gamers from all over have voiced their opinions and lambasted Ubisoft for delivering in-game footage which apparently has dropped in fidelity, especially since the publisher has had months of extra development time due to the game’s delay. The community feels that the footage doesn’t aptly depict the same Watch Dogs game that was showcased at E3, leading a few to believe that Ubisoft has dropped the ball entirely.
An infamous NeoGAF denizen, Ahsan “Thuway” Rasheed, recently claimed that Ubisoft is quite concerned about the community’s recent backlash on the trailer’s footage:
Heard folks internally at Ubisoft are absolutely frightened because backlash against Watch Dogs was much stronger than anyone anticipated.
— Ahsan Rasheed (@thuway) March 7, 2014
It’s fair to say that Ubisoft has a decent amount riding on Watch Dogs, as anticipation for the release has been growing and growing in the last few months. With this recent debacle, however, that staggering excitement may be in the danger of toppling unless the company handles their responses the right way.
While Ubi has a ton of hit franchises (such as the Assassin’s Creed line), Watch Dogs has been a fresh new endeavor and negative reception may in turn affect further games such as The Division–another upcoming next-gen title. The initial screenshots and footage for The Division mirror the quality from the early footage of Watch Dogs, and gamers may make the same assumptions that the former will suffer from downgraded res drops and avoid it altogether.
On the flip side of the coin, several industry figures have affirmed that Watch Dogs looks and feels the way a next-gen game should.
Tessa Vilyn, Ubisoft’s PR and Event Manager, Tweeted that the game looks “incredible”, and that there is no downgrade:
@DoughtySmithe lol no downgrade, it looks incredible. 🙂 Again this is my opinion based on what i saw when playing the latest demo.
— Tessa Vilyn (@UbiTessa) March 7, 2014
Vilyn was also seen Tweeting that Watch Dogs looks “amazing, and true next gen”.
Jonathan Morin, Creative Director for Watch Dogs, weighed in on the next-gen quality of the game. According to Morin, the PC version won’t be a massive leap above the Xbox One and PS4 versions:
@DJPork 😉 Don’t worry I played PC and then PS4 and PS4 isn’t giving its place. Just read the articles, they all played on PS4.
— Jonathan Morin (@Design_Cave) March 6, 2014
It’s only natural for Ubisoft employees and those attached to the project to praise the game, and in an effort for “damage control” of sorts, Ubi held a live stream for Watch Dogs earlier today. Unfortunately it appears that the stream was able to redeem the game as the footage only went to fan the flames.
The general consensus appears to be that gamers feel that Ubisoft lied and willingly subverted the actual quality of the game, instead showcasing PC-level graphics for many trailers. This is a pretty commonplace practice for TV-spots and trailers, however some note that the downgrades are so severe that the actual console versions weren’t showcased for that same reason.
It’ll be interesting to see how Ubisoft handles this quarrel over the next few days, or if they will let the game’s quality speak for itself–which could be a risky move if it is, in fact, downgraded in visual quality. This may not be enough to mar the projected sales for Watch Dogs, as the game still looks like a blast, and we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see more of the game in action.
Watch Dogs is scheduled for a release on current and next-gen consoles on May 27, 2014. For more information be sure to head on over to the game’s official website.