The PS4 and Xbox One have a stark difference in hardware capabilities. The PS4 has a 40-50% power advantage on the Xbox One in the benchmarks, in theoretical comparisons, in the synthetic tests and in real-world application performance. The numbers don't lie. However, Ubisoft would have everyone believe that both systems are running at their full capacity for Assassin's Creed Unity.
In a blog post, senior communications manager Gary Steinman comes out of the gate swinging, stating...
“Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed.”
The post runs to the rescue of producer Vincent Pontbriand, who recently discussed in an interview how they...
“We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff,"
Steinman tries to run damage control, writing on the blog that...
“One outlet ran a story using some quotes from Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand to suggest we lowered the resolution on the PlayStation 4.”
There's nothing to misconstrue here. Pointbriand says it himself that they locked the systems to the same specs to avoid the “debates and stuff.”
Why are you trying to avoid the debates? And why aren't you being honest with the representation of the PS4's hardware? Whatever the Xbox One can do, the PS4 can do it about 40% better. So how can the 900p end up being justifiable? Especially when games like Battlefield 4 and Watch Dogs ran at 900p on the PS4 but was only 720p and 792p respectively on the Xbox One. It stands to reason that a 900p game on the Xbox One should grant the PS4's hardware leeway to hit 1080p, right? Just like with Lords of the Fallen and Shadow Warrior... right?
Pointbriand and Steinman supposedly have an answer for that.
“We know a lot of gamers consider 1080p with 60 frames per second to be the gold standard, especially on the new generation of consoles,” ... “We realize we had also pushed for 1080p in some of our previous games, including AC4. But we made the right decision to focus our resources on delivering the best gameplay experience, and resolution is just one factor. There is a real cost to all those NPCs, to all the details in the city, to all the systems working together, and to the seamless co-op gameplay. We wanted to be absolutely uncompromising when it comes to the overall gameplay experience. Those additional pixels could only come at a cost to the gameplay.”
Pointbriand previously explained that due to the increase in NPCs -- going from 150 NPCs on the screen up to thousands -- the hardware couldn't handle processing all those NPC interactions and possibilities while also scaling for the resolution. They had to pick one and stick to it. They pass off that the frame-rate and the resolution are so closely tied to the way the CPU is handled in Assassin's Creed Unity that they couldn't afford to scale the game any higher for the PS4's hardware.
Well, as I said at the top of the article... the numbers don't lie.