This month’s AC Unity scandal: console parity


Man, Assassin’s Creed Unity just can’t seem to avoid causing a ruckus. During E3 it was the whole “no playable female characters” thing; now it’s been revealed that Ubisoft has opted for console parity between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Cue angry gamers in 3, 2…

This new uproar came about as a result of a chat between website Video Gamer and senior producer for Unity Vincent Pontbriand. During their discussion, Pontbriand announced that the game has been capped at 900p at 30fps on both platforms. This, in turn, led to PlayStation 4 players getting pretty upset because they assumed that this meant their version had been gimped to accommodate Xbox One.

“We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff,” Pontbriand said, obviously referencing the debate about capability differences between Microsoft’s and Sony’s new consoles. Furthermore, when Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, it released at 900p on PlayStation 4; this was later bumped up to 1080p via a post-launch patch.

“Technically we’re CPU-bound,” Pontbriand continued to explain. “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. 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.”

NeoGAF, Twitter and Reddit have all imploded with backlash aimed at Ubisoft for forcing console parity with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Website Kotaku managed to get a statement from Ubisoft regarding Pontbriand’s comments and the ensuing hysteria:

“We understand how Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand’s quotes have been misinterpreted. To set the record straight, we did not lower the specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity to account for any one system over the other.

Assassin’s Creed Unity has been engineered from the ground up for next-generation consoles. Over the past 4 years, we have created Assassin’s Creed Unity to attain the tremendous level of quality we have now achieved on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It’s a process of building up toward our goals, not scaling down, and we’re proud to say that we have reached those goals on all SKUs.11

At no point did we decide to reduce the ambitions of any SKU. All benefited from the full dedication of all of our available optimization resources to help them reach the level of quality we have today with the core Assassin’s Creed Unity experience.”

On a lighter note: here’s a new story trailer for the game. Enjoy!

Source: Video Gamer