Console-war fans have a chance to go at each other again, as Ubisoft seems to be impressed with the Playstation 4, but doesn’t praise the Xbox One in the same way. In a recent interview with Playstation Blog, several members of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs development team have praised Sony’s next-gen console, stating that the PS4 allowed them to bring their futuristic vision to life. According to Creative Director Jonathan Morin, “Creating the game on PS4 was fascinating”.
“It was uncanny to see that Watch_Dogs was so close to what Sony wanted to do with the console. So Sony understood what we were doing with the game. We were a really great match.” he continued, referring to the successful working relationship between Sony and Ubisoft. But Jonathan Morin wasn’t the only one to praise the console and refer to it in high regard. Lead Designer Danny Belanger did so as well, stating that “The powerful technology helped us create a better simulation. The water effects, the amount of people in the city, the quality of the lighting… it all brings us a step forward.”
The PS4’s powerful RAM resources seemed to be the key to success, according to Animation Director Colin Graham. “PS4 has really given us the platform to build a new type of game. It gave us a chance to dream. From an animation point of view we’re always running out of memory, especially when you start developing towards the end of a console generation, so PS4 allowed things like reduced animation compression and more variety in civilians. From my point of view it’s a bit like working with an unlimited budget because we can’t fill the memory budget on PS4. It’s a really nice piece of hardware.”
The team went on to praise the various features of Sony’s PS4, but there’s no point in going further. It’s pretty clear that the PS4 was a beautiful tool to work with, at least as far as Ubisoft is concerned. Similar statements were made by Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red when the company stated that the PS4 and Xbox One allowed the team to develop a truly next-gen game that was previously impossible to conceive on the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.
However, recent developments in the Watch Dogs fan community show growing concerns to the game’s tuned-down graphics. Users have noticed huge steps back when it comes to visual fidelity, compared to older trailers for Watch Dogs. Since Watch Dogs is also coming to last-gen consoles (the Xbox 360, PS3 and later even the Wii U), many fans of the game are worried that Ubisoft scaled back on visual quality to adapt the game for these considerably weaker consoles. In comparison, CD Projekt Red completely dismissed the Xbox 360 and PS3, making no compromises and developing the game exclusively for the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One.
What do you think about Ubisoft’s approach? Are you worried about scaled-back graphics on the PS4 or Xbox One?