Ubisoft explained that the game's new Disrupt Engine is "flexible" enough to allow those who pick up the game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to "still get an amazing experience."
"We knew we would have next-gen hardware coming out before we ship," senior producer Dominic Guay said. "But we started off knowing we wanted to support PS3 and Xbox 360."
Though both versions of the game will be fundamentally "the same," Guay said current-generation players will see fewer characters on-screen at any given time.
"On current-gen systems we may need to cut down the number of people on the street a little, but it's still the same game," Guay said. "You don’t get the same sense of the crowd, but it allows us to scale certain bits and keep the same experience."
Animation director Colin Graham expanded on the differences between the two versions, saying though the Xbox One and PS4 iterations will be the "real HD experience," players on current-generation machines won't find the game to be lacking in any way.
"Players are going to know they aren't getting a bad experience if they play Watch Dogs for the current-gen, but the next-gen is the real HD experience. You can zoom in another level. You can have better shaders, better simulation on the wind or the water, more particles, better atmospherics… Basically anything you can get with more computing power."
"So have no fear if you plan on playing Watch Dogs on the PS3 or 360," Ubisoft concluded. "There are no trimmed-down mechanics to make you feel as though you are missing out on the core experience."
Watch Dogs launches for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC on November 19. The Xbox One and PS4 versions will release sometime this holiday. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Watch Dogs.