E3 2014: Why Xbox One/PS4/PC Shooter The Division Is Aiming for 30fps

Massive Entertainment boss David Polfeldt says jumping to 60fps would have required compromises the studio was unwilling to make.

Ubisoft is aiming for the upcoming third-person shooter The Division to run in 30fps on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Massive Entertainment managing director David Polfeldt told GameSpot today during an interview at E3. Increasing the frame rate to 60fps would require trade-offs in other game areas, like destruction, and Ubisoft wasn't willing to compromise, Polfeldt said.

"If we go for [60fps], we'll have to make a trade-off on fidelity and other things" -- Massive Entertainment boss David Polfeldt

"I think we're shooting for 30fps because it's a trade-off, right? Graphical fidelity and immersion are more important to us than the frame rate," Polfeldt said. "If we go for [60fps], we'll have to make a trade-off on fidelity and other things," he said.

"But because we want to have very, very complex destruction and extremely detailed environments; a complete weather system, full day/night cycle...at some point you have to make up your mind: where do you invest? And for us, it's going to be 30fps," Polfeldt added.

We also quizzed Polfeldt about resolution for The Division, but he wouldn't budge. "Resolution-wise? I don't know."

The Division launches in 2015 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. We will have more from our interview with Polfeldt in the days ahead. For more on The Division, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Want the latest news about Tom Clancy's The Division?

Tom Clancy's The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division

Discussion

144 comments
FBohler
FBohler

If you can tell the difference between 720p and 1080p you're too close from your TV. If you can't tell the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps then you're just watching, not playing.

derekscorp
derekscorp

I disagree with their choices. 30fps for a FPS is unacceptable with this kind of hardware.

cynicritic
cynicritic

In any case the scope of games is too far ahead of the tech when it comes to consoles. For example Far Cry 3 ran like a crippled old lady on last gen consoles. There was so much screen tear it was disgraceful. Not to mention there were no reflections in the water and the day/night cycle only advanced when you moved or looked around. The clouds never moved at all though and when it rained the stormy clouds simply popped in.


Far Cry 3 belonged on this new gen. The scope was too far ahead of the tech last gen and I worry it is going to happen again. People will expect perfection from FC4 when really FC3 should just be arriving this November instead.

The general visuals in FC3 were still good but it was all for nought when you couldn't admire them without the screen stuttering and tearing like a schizophrenic Cat. Ruined the whole experience for me. 

So in my opinion, stability MUST come before graphics. Lay the stable foundation and then build up from there. It's only logical. 

Bryjoered07
Bryjoered07

30 fps is fine for literally any game besides a twitch shooter, anyone who doesn't agree otherwise is probably a PC elitist. I own a PC and would NEVER lower settings to reach 60fps over 30 in a single player game. Only in twitch shooter, like counterstrike, COD, does 60 fps matter. I prefer higher graphics over it.

euphoric666
euphoric666

30fps is perfect for games who want to give the sensation of an movie and this game asks for it. The best test that anyone can do on PC to feel this difference is turning on and off the vsync on Dead Space 1.

kahnseal
kahnseal

all this does is PROVE that PS4 nor xbox one are really powerful systems. Especially the PS4 for the ponies that really believe its 50% more powerful than xbox one. as devs said before the systems have to make trade offs, hence this is what spencer was talking about letting devs choose how they want to use the resources with the systems. some devs go for Graphics some going for Frame Rate.

Gen007
Gen007

People still under the fallacy that next gen games will be 60FPS 1080P for shame. It's not gonna happen and we haven't really seen true next gen games by btw. When we do lower resolutions and 30FPS will be the norm its the only way they are gonna make look amazing on consoles. All i hope for is solid 30fps plenty of games last gen were supposedly 30 but experienced regular fps drops to much lower. If they can nail 30FPS and have it stay there then things will be fine.

crazyman158
crazyman158

Do you guys remember ubisofts last good pc port? ...nope me neither

linux19977
linux19977

Frame rate is so much more important than resolution.The game is so much smoother at 60fps, but what you get with 1080p?a little bit better graphics and that's it.sometimes i see no difference between 720 and 1080, but difference between fps is so noticable.it's just so much more immersive at 60.I'd choose 720/60 over 1080/30 any time.gameplay experience is more important than graphics.these kids doesn't even understand what fps is and they're raging over "why the game is not 1080p" and the devs are stupid enough to listen to them.look at mgsv.they chose 60 fps instead of 1080p on XONE version.and then look at horizon 2.for a driving game fps is so much more important than res.

DeusGladiorum
DeusGladiorum

Meh, I've played shooters at 30 fps and while I really want 60 fps, after a few minutes of playing your eyes will adjust. It's not the biggest deal. Of course, I still want 60 fps on my PC, so as long as the frame rate isn't capped there, who cares? 

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

A games a game all this fps crap is a joke now a days me i can care less the game will still look good

jk12324
jk12324

30fps is fine for a third person shooter imo, as long as it stays at 30 consistently. 

crizzy218
crizzy218

Why not 50, 40 or atleast 35?

berserker66666
berserker66666

Cause the consoles can't handle Ubisoft's unoptimized games?

arqe
arqe

Console people should leave behind the 900p vs 1080p and focus on the "Real Thing" here. There is no way for you guys to tell between 900p vs 1080p. All people who says "I can tell" is a liar if not fanboy.

Only thing that matters after 720p is FPS and console people should ask for 60fps instead of 1080p bullshit. Once you feel the difference between 60 vs 30fps , you cant go below 60. You will trade MAX graphics to 60fps when the game demands more power and if you dont have that.

FPS > all others.

devilzzz2014
devilzzz2014

1080 / 60 FPS do matter in 2014 and that is part of why I have bought neither console ....

pc master race

ravenglass1
ravenglass1

We need to tell devs and system companies  " Sony/Microsoft" to stop showing us one thing " Watch Dogs" and then selling us another......snake oil ..it's called bait and switch mother fuckers 

ravenglass1
ravenglass1

Most of all the movies and TV shows are shot at 30 fps or less !!!!

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Console gamers need to understand that going from 30fps to 60ps means double the rendering pressure: You are essentially pushing 2 frames than 1 at a given moment, that is a lot of pressure for the GPU, essentially in order to make that happen, they need to cut back in a lot of graphical details and resolution to hit that target. 30 fps locked is very good and much more playable than a game which varies wildly between 60fps and 30fps for example.


Also the advantages of 60fps isn't that much unless you play multiplayer competitive shooters, where extra frames means faster response times.


I know many of you already know this, for others, I hope this helped.

TheCanadian0495
TheCanadian0495

@derekscorp While I agree, I've been playing Destiny on the PS4 and honestly, you get so into the game you really don't even notice. I'm a spoiled PC gamer, so I love my 60 frames per second. But if it's going to be 30 frames per second, if it is a rock solid 30 frames per second with no frame rate drops, I'll be happy.

xBinary01111000
xBinary01111000

@derekscorp It's not an FPS, it's a TPS so it shouldn't be quite as noticeable. Still, frame rate should be king.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I played it on 360 as well and it ran fine. No tearing or slow down. Console gamers aren't as picky about tiny details. We play the game, not the reflections.

duggers76
duggers76

@cynicritic Although I agree with almost everything you've said here, what we're you playing Farcry 3 on? I was on a 360 and saw no evidience of screen tearing, and if there was is was so slight I didn't notice.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@kahnseal I fail to see how this doesn't mean that the PS4 isn't still ~50% more powerful. Do you KNOW what "hardware specifications" mean? Just because each console will need to make compromises doesn't automatically mean the PS4 isn't still a lot more powerful. There will be PC's twice as fast as the PS4 that will have to lower graphics and MAKE COMPROMISES to reach a desired resolution or frame rate.


Basically, what you said in no way makes any sense or is relevant. 

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@Gen007 Agreed. Even as a PC gamer I would prefer lower resolution and lower frame rate for better graphics then higher resolution and frame rate for reduced graphics. Granted I'm running dual R9 290's so I don't have to worry about this but with games like Uncharted 4 being 1080p/60FPS makes me really wonder how much MORE amazing it would look had they chose to go with 1080p/30FPS or 720p/30FPS.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@crazyman158 Yeah...I can say that graphics and options have always been pretty decent...main problem has been optimizations or lack there of. I can remember good Ubisoft games on PC...but I can't remember one that didn't require 8 patches over a years time to properly (or not) fix a game. 


I look at Future Soldier. It's a blast to play and runs and functions well on PC. Only problem is that too like 7 or 8 patches to actually MAKE it good...and it STILL has issues like running multiple GPU's.

Bryjoered07
Bryjoered07

@linux19977  You're on crack, a constant 30 fps with way more graphical detail is WAYYYYY more immersive than 60fps. I own a PC, I play most games at 60fps, I go to a friends house play Watch Dogs on his PS4, which is locked at 30fps, looks perfectly smooth. It's in your head man, 60 fps only matters for first person shooters.

deadpool2699
deadpool2699

@linux19977 Well in this case it seems like that if they were to go 60fps, part of the actual game  and game elements would be taken out or really dumbed down. If they were trying to scrap 60 fps for 1080p I agree with what you say but in this instance it seems that it's not about resolution like other multiplats but the actual game being stripped down due to hardware limitations.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@DeusGladiorum Agreed. I've played Metro Last Light at both 60 and 30FPS on my PC (depending on graphics/effects) and though it isn't a twitch shooter the differences aren't even noticeable after about 30 seconds.


This debate is old and pointless...to me it shouldn't be 30fps vs. 60fps it should be inconsistent and unstable 30fps vs. a consistent and stable 30fps.


I'm a PC gamer running a 4.5GHz 3570K and dual R9 290's...I'm perfectly familiar with high frame rates but even I have no issue with sub-60fps as long as I don't dip in the 20's and the graphics look amazing. 


For me, even running Eyefinity I would rather go with only running one 1080p monitor and running 30fps if that's what I have to do to max a game like this out...granted I hope that won't be the case but I wouldn't mind. 

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@Shinda_Ecchi See, to me, watching the 30fps example vs. the 60fps really doesn't = better to me. 


I'm a PC gamer with a very fast PC. However, I think 30 vs. 60 only matter in some games. I know that no game I've ever played that ran at 30fps gave me an issue. To me the biggest problem isn't 30 vs. 60fps...it's inconsistent 30fps vs. consistent 30fps.

chrisall76
chrisall76

@crizzy218 Developers stay at a multiple of 30 since monitors have refresh rates that are also multiples of 30 (30, 60, 120, etc.). Going out of that can cause screen tearing.

MonkerzX
MonkerzX

@crizzy218 Because then they would have to downgrade the resolution even more lol

Bryjoered07
Bryjoered07

@arqe  Yeah, speak for yourself, I have a nice PC and while playing a game at 60 fps is clearly ideal, I would NEVER sacrifice graphical details just to reach it unless it's a fast paced twitch shooter. 30 fps is just fine for 90% of gamers, aka console owners, get off your high horse. Do you actually believe that you get a better immersive experience at 60 fps compared to me playing with all the details cranked up at 30? Have you ever watched a movie? Most are filmed at 24 fps, please shut up.

Sollet
Sollet

@arqe You must be Xbox One owner. If you've played games on PC you can tell immediately the difference in resolution. Also consider having your eyes checked if you can't tell the difference.

randy_joella
randy_joella

@Gamer_4_Fun The thing is not many gamers know this, take for example Wolfenstein new order. WTNO runs at constant 60 fps on consoles at the cost of graphics. The game is very responsive though,but that doesn`t stop gamers from calling it garbage. (sorry for my grammar,english is not my native language).

arqe
arqe

@Gamer_4_Fun Why only matters on Multiplayer ? If you play enough 60fps games , no matter the genre when you turn to lower FPS it disturbs you.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@Bryjoered07 @linux19977 I'd agree to a point. I do think FPS matters for some games, but even for first person shooters it really matters on the type it is. 


I run AMD GPU's in my PC (dual R9 290's). I was playing Metro Last Light the other day at max settings, 5860x1080 resolution (Eyefinity), etc...was playing at 60fps+...looked great. 


Then I turned on Physx...something that dramatically lowers frame rate but looks awesome. Guess what? My game now ran at 25-30fps...but you know...after getting used to it that didn't bother me AT ALL. 


Why? Because it's a slower shooter. Once my brain got used to it I had no issue. This is true of most games...even racing games. I haven't always ran high-end PC's...hell I was a console gamer exclusively up until I was about 16 years old and never once did frame rate bother me.


So yeah...the whole 30 vs. 60fps debate is kind of...meh...I see both sides but I don't really think it matters. To me having a very consistent and smooth 30fps in these newer games is the biggest problem.


If you're going to go 30fps...fine...no problem...but just make sure it STAYS at 30fps and not 30...25...20...30...26...etc etc etc...

linux19977
linux19977

@deadpool2699 @linux19977 Well, that sucks of course, and that means it's not going to be 1080 either.It's gonna be 720/30.These ''next gen'' consoles are just so weak.That's why I'm upgrading my PC instead of buying one of these.

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

@Sollet @arqe You can tell the difference if you examine them side by side, obviously. But it's really hard to just play a game for the first time not knowing what the resolution is and be able to say "yes, this is definitely in 720p/1080p." 

It's much easier to play a game for the first time not knowing what the framerate is and be able to say "this is definitely 30fps/60fps" regardless of whether you're on a PC or a Console (I own both, and 60fps is just so much smoother than 30fps.

euphoric666
euphoric666

@Shadowcreeper31 @ravenglass1 movies are 24fps.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@arqe @Gamer_4_Fun I'd agree to a point. I do think FPS matters for some games, but even for first person shooters it really matters on the type it is. 


I run AMD GPU's in my PC (dual R9 290's). I was playing Metro Last Light the other day at max settings, 5860x1080 resolution (Eyefinity), etc...was playing at 60fps+...looked great. 


Then I turned on Physx...something that dramatically lowers frame rate but looks awesome. Guess what? My game now ran at 25-30fps...but you know...after getting used to it that didn't bother me AT ALL. 


Why? Because it's a slower shooter. Once my brain got used to it I had no issue. This is true of most games...even racing games. I haven't always ran high-end PC's...hell I was a console gamer exclusively up until I was about 16 years old and never once did frame rate bother me.


So yeah...the whole 30 vs. 60fps debate is kind of...meh...I see both sides but I don't really think it matters. To me having a very consistent and smooth 30fps in these newer games is the biggest problem.


If you're going to go 30fps...fine...no problem...but just make sure it STAYS at 30fps and not 30...25...20...30...26...etc etc etc...

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@arqe of course it is hard going back to 30fps from 60fps, but it doesn't necessarily really hamper the gameplay.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@linux19977 @deadpool2699 Not necessarily. Being a big PC gamer for years I can say that it's easier to jump from 720p to 1080p then it is to jump from 30fps to 60fps.


I could see it coming out at 1080p and 30fps...that's much easier though, in my experience, than 720p and 60fps.


Either way, I'd rather the console versions get the level of detail and physics and have lower FPS then have less detail and physics because of frame rate.

AndroidVageta
AndroidVageta

@Ghosthunter54 @Sollet @arqe No it's not. 720p vs. 1080p is and SHOULD be recognizable to most people. 


900p vs. 1080p is a different matter. A lot of it also has to do with screen size and distance that one is viewing it. I play most of my games on my PC and my monitors. To me 720 vs. 1080 is a lot more apparent then when it's on my 60 inch from 10 feet away. However, even then I can still tell.